Sugar has Remarkable Healing Powers.
The earliest documented use of honey in wound care was around 1700 BC in Egypt where it was used in wounds sustained in Battle. Hippocrates also recommended its use.
As a Wound Care Specialist in South Africa, I used sugar extensively on wounds – yes, plain old white sugar - it was cheaper than honey. Our pharmacist made up a sugar ‘paste’ from a recipe I obtained from a British Hospital - it flowed like honey and was easy to use and more importantly it didn’t end up sprinkling all over the bed. Both honey and sugar work well because they have a high osmotic pull and draw tissue fluids from the wound surface, it reduces swelling and pain and it inhibits the ability of bacteria to reproduce. It keeps the wound surface moist and is a strong debriding agent meaning it breaks down the dead tissue in the wound and is great at managing wound odor. It encourages wound granulation and healing. Within four days, a very smelly wound would lose its smell and dead tissue would come away leaving healthy tissue beneath it. I used it on wounds like gun shots, bed sores and diabetic ulcers.
To this day I still use sugar on any painful inflamed or infected scrapes and cuts. When a wound is red and swollen, I wash it carefully with water and dry it gently, then put enough sugar on it to cover the wound completely so that the dressing feels crunchy when touched. I would say that the most challenging thing to do when dressing the wound is to ensure that the sugar does not escape and sprinkle all over the place.
Then keep the dressing dry and change it once a day.
Barbara Feliu is a retired Clinical Nurse Specialist. Barbara has written articles on Wound Management for over 30 years. Currently working at POW-HER and running her own dermabrasion business called It's Appealing, Barbara is a fountain of knowledge that she's always happy to share with our clients.