Licking wounds

Does licking a small scrape or cut do any benefit or harm? This is regarding humans BTW.

Saliva is a mild antiseptic, so yes it does.

Human saliva is so full of bacteria that it can cause further infection.

Both sound plausible, yet I’ve never read of saliva’s antiseptic quailities.

cw, I doubt that you would be infected by your own spit. Every time you bite your tongue or mouth does it get horribly infected? I mean, heck, it is in your mouth!

Check this out.

http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a2_412b.html

Thanks Ponster. I’m officially going to stop chewing on my fingers.

WTF is THIS?!?!?

I may become an SDMB pariah for this, but I call CITE! on Cecil. I also call into question the relevance of this quote, both w/respect to this thread and the original question to Cecil. W/o a full description of the case, how can we know whether it was the woman’s own saliva that infected her, or did she chew her fingers so much that she opened a wound that got infected in some other manner?

Benefits to licking small wound:
Don’t get blood anywhere else.
Possible anti-septic effect.
Feels better.
Tastes good (less filling!) :slight_smile:

Harms to licking small wound:
Possible further infection, depending on how dirty your mouth is and if you BITE YOURSELF MORE…
Tastes bad (depends on who you are, I guess).

I’m starting a new thread about why animals lick their wounds, and if the set of animals that lick their wounds is the same as the set of animals that have been found to have ‘helpful’ components in their saliva.

Jake4-
Cecil did not state that the infection came from the woman’s saliva. It is most likely she bit her nails till they bleed and became infected from well being open wounds.