Would you believe its sugar? Doctors are finding that this sweet substance can help to speed the healing of wounds, burns, and skin ulcers. Moreover, it is safe, cheap, easy to get and to use.
In Argentina, scientists at the University of Buenos Aires packed the infected wounds of 120 patients with ordinary granulated sugar and found in 99 percent of the cases that the bacterial infections cleared in nine days to seventeen weeks. In the United States, doctors at the Delta Medical Center in Greenville, Mississippi, have reported similar success in a five-year study involving 605 patient suffering from wounds, skin ulcers and burns.
The Greenville doctors say the therapy, a combination of sugar and povidone-iodine, a mil anti-infective agent, outperforms all other product for wound care and is the combination that we depend upon most for wound, burn or ulcer treatment. They found that wounds so treated healed faster than with alternative standard therapy, and with little or no scarring. The need for antibiotics was reduced, as was the reliance on painkillers dressings can simply be washed off with water.
Sugar works it wonders in several ways. It is naturally antibacterial, inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. It soaks up moisture and thus helps reduce the swelling common to injured tissue. Sugar may also provide the nourishment or stimulus for tissue to regenerate.
One word of caution: when using sugar, make sure the bleeding from a wound has stopped for twenty-four hours before applying.Todays observations only confirm the wisdom of ancient practice. As early as 17B.C., Egyptian physicians were touting the benefits of packing battlefield wounds with a mixture of grease and sugar-rich honey. We dont advise that, but the more things change HOW TO USE SUGAR TO HELP HEAL Examine the open wound, ulceration or sore on your skin. Small wounds, ulcerations and sores respond better to sugar treatments than large ones. Have a jar of regular petroleum jelly handy. Clean the affected area by washing thoroughly and patting dry. Circle the petroleum jelly around your wound. Be thorough. Begin at one point and end at the same point. Then fill in the wound completely with the petroleum jelly. Be gentle. Sprinkle sugar onto your wound. Cover as much of the wound as you can by using just a pinch at a time. Then continue adding sugar until your wound is completely covered with sugar. Cut a small square or round piece of gauze to fit your wound. You can add touches of petroleum jelly to the gauze to help it stick to your skin. Cover the dressed wound with an adhesive bandage. Change the bandage at least once every 24 hours.Robin Westen is ThridAges medical reporter. Check for her daily updates. She is the author of ten Days to Detox: How to Look and Feel a Decade Younger.See what others have to say about this story or leave a comment of your own.