Q. My father developed a bedsore on his back around the beginning of the year. It became infected months ago and has healed somewhat.

My dad is on hospice care. They were using a "wives’-tale" remedy of applying sugar to the infected sore. This sure seemed to work; it had to be discontinued, however, because the agency personnel are not supposed to apply it. I guess the remedy is not FDA approved.

Have you ever heard of this remedy? I am in charge now of applying the sugar, and it seems to work.

A. It is certainly an old wives’ tale, but there is also evidence to back up this approach for stubborn wounds. Decades ago, surgeon Richard A. Knutson, MD, published his experience using this old-fashioned approach to wound care in the Southern Medical Journal (Nov. 1981). We spoke with him and he told us he resisted his elderly nurse’s recommendation at first. “When we started I thought it was absolutely nuts.” But his experience with more than 5,000 patients convinced him it was useful to speed healing.

Recently, scientists compared honey and sugar as wound dressings. They concluded that honey is somewhat more effective than sugar in reducing bacterial contamination and promoting wound healing (Journal of Wound Care, July, 2007).

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  1. roy h.
    Reply

    use ICING sugar only.

  2. malgorzata s.
    Reply

    My husband had a very bad motorcycle accident about 4 months ago…we had this brilliant doctor from Colombia….he told the nurses to pack his wounds with sugar…it was amazing how fast it was healing……faster than regular packing and less painful. Will recommend this for any one and any time…..

  3. A
    Reply

    I have found that a mix of sugar and lemon juice helps with acne and acne scarring, at least for me. Put sugar in a bowl and add enough lemon juice to make a paste. Lightly scrub your face with it and it will leave your face feeling smooth. The sugar draws out the acne infection while the lemon’s acid helps to bleach out the old scars. So far this has helped my skin more than any acne medication, and it is a natural, cheap remedy.

  4. GJ
    Reply

    So sugar soaks up all water and the bacteria can’t get any. Nice. Wish I had known years ago.

  5. TA
    Reply

    I am an RN who often works with frail elderly, and when a caregiver told me about sugar to heal the constant skin tears we see, I thought she was nuts. But it worked far better than anything I have ever seen in 20 years of nursing, these poor people can have skin tears of their fragile skin that never heal otherwise, cause them great pain and often become infected.
    I have used it on myself and my animals with the same astounding results. Just plain sugar without the betadine, washed off, reapplied and bandaged if necessary, every day. Yes, we use betadine scrub in surgery, but is is good to have betadine in constant skin contact, especially for wounds that take time to heal? I know the sugar works, almost like magic.

  6. JB
    Reply

    Update on black lab : Still applying the betadine and sugar and she will leave it and the sock on her foot for days now and not trying to remove it. The granuloma (large open swollen wound) is healing up really nice, can’t believe that the leg is looking like the other back leg.. very happy with this treatment. I just smear a bunch of the mixture on a strip of old towel and wrap her leg with it .. apply tape , then put a sock on with some flexible tape. At first she would tear off the sock daily but kept applying and she evenually lost interest in chewing at her leg. … will update again. So glad I found this remedy :D
    ps. agree totally with you Joe , this is doing more than what the vet ever did and way less money too.

  7. Reginald AAS/AB
    Reply

    How did this turn out?

  8. Reginald AAS/AB
    Reply

    Did you apply this to an open wound where the skin was completely open to the body wall? Thanks Reg

  9. joe
    Reply

    I used this remedy on my 15 yr.75# dog It did in two weeks what no vet. was able to do in a year I cleaned the large wound approx. 2 sq. inches daily and applied a covering of betadine and white sugar and WOW in 2 wks all is well.

  10. Reginald AAS/AB
    Reply

    I recently had a cat with pulled out stitches; the entire skin layer was open, exposing the tissue below. The veterinarian opened a pack of sugar and poured it on the open wound. I have read that using sugar as a topical agent was a good thing. But I have never heard of it being poured into an open wound. Would you please advise me if it is a good thing to pour it into an open wound. Sincerely Reg

  11. Renee B.
    Reply

    I’m taking care of my friend,who has had 2 surgeries on his right ischial and they did not take. I’ve used medihoney, prisma and so far that’s not working either. So my question is will sugar work?

  12. JB
    Reply

    Just tried betadine and sugar today on my black lab with an awful granuloma on her back leg. Been trying to heal it for almost two years. Tried antibiotics and synotic banamine from the vet… cleared it up somewhat then it returned x2 … it’s hard to keep her off of it, tried all the usual tricks for that too. Also much money on different creams etc.
    She isn’t trying to remove the bandage so maybe it’s doing something. I am impressed with the testimonials on here and am glad I found this site. Here’s hoping for healing. Will update with results. Thanks all.

  13. G. Rajan
    Reply

    The moral of the story? Don’t disparage old wives! With age comes wisdom.

  14. KR
    Reply

    did some more searching and found this solid evidence you can take to your doctor
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC184812/
    http://www.woundsinternational.com/case-reports/the-use-of-granulated-sugar-to-treat-two-pressure-ulcers/page-1
    remember also, that your body needs a strong immune system to fight infections, so consider if you are getting enough vitamins. I always knew of Vit. C for healing, but recently have been learning that Vitamin D is critical for a healthy immune system as is Zinc and other micro nutrients.

  15. KR
    Reply

    It works for the same reason that sugar is used to keep food from growing moldy or rotten (all canned fruit is packed in syrup or juice) Jam (half sugar half fruit) is the only thing you can boil, put in jars, seal without further processing and it will keep for years because the sugar keeps bacteria from growing. A German doctor treated a friend for a persistent leg wound with sugar, I thought it was nuts, but this explanation made sense…
    If you think about it, antibiotics only fight bacteria, but sugar keeps mold (=fungus) from growing, too! (Mold in open jam is likely from bread crumbs (yeast) that got into it.)

  16. Betty
    Reply

    I was wondering how long did it take to finally heal? I have had a sore on my toe for over a year and it got very deep and my daughter told me to put sugar on it.
    And now it seems to be healing but I will find out soon I hope. But I just filled my toe with pure sugar.

  17. s
    Reply

    My cat got attacked by a possum or raccoon, and has a ragged wound in her neck. Our vet told us to use the sugar remedy–I admit, I thought he was crazy–and it’s too soon to tell if it’s working, but it certainly isn’t infected or getting worse.

  18. kim c.
    Reply

    i have a tibial chemical burn old that re opened took a month of bactrim ds becaused the would cultured out positive for mrsa.The wound continued to get worse . nothing seemed to help. using different wound gels like silvadene, and bactroban.
    I researched this article about sugar have been using it since wednesday and the would is filling in and healing nicely. The wound now looks beefy red with no areas of exudate. THANK YOU THANK YOU

  19. LC
    Reply

    My husband is Diabetic and often gets Diabetic Blisters. His doctor just tells him he had to have burned himself. If he is not very careful, the blisters break and the skin gets torn off, then he winds up with a serious sore. Last year after several very expensive visits to the wound doctor, a cousin in Mississippi told us about the SugarDine remedy. It never fails to work.
    I mix up a paste of white granulated sugar and Betadine (no real recipe – just add a little of each until you have a good thick paste.) Fill the sore with the mixture, wrap it in some sterile gauze & tape it up good. I’ve found it is best if you leave the bandage on two days, then remove it, wash off the dried sugar and do it all again. It is truly amazing! For just a few dollars, we healed the wounds in two weeks that the wound doctor had charged us $3,400 for every 8 visits – over a period of two months – and saw no healing. Don’t waste your time – just mix up and apply some SugarDine yourself, and be prepared to be amazed.

    • suzanne
      florida
      Reply

      I am a diabetic and I have an open wound between my toes. At this point, it is not infected.

      Two doctors are telling me to put betadine on it, but it’s still not closing.
      Any thoughts? Please, I am desperate. I can not use sneakers, go to the pool, or the ocean, and not exercising is not helping my diabetes.
      Thanks so much.

  20. ann
    Reply

    Heard lots on this.. my mom had her big toe end removed keeps busting back open after stitches.. let you know how it turns out. very hopeful

  21. Nowelle K. G.
    Reply

    Wow!! I am so glad that I found this!! I have a young cat, who got outside and was attacked by something(maybe a dog). She has a huge wound (and I mean HUGE!) (the vet is impressed that she is still alive) on her stomach. She was gone for about a week and when I found her, she was rotting and toxic!! YUCK!!!
    I brought her home yesterday, after being at the vet clinic for a little over a week. The vet has told me that it will take weeks for the wound to heal good enough for her to be able stitch it shut. I had already thought about adding salt to the mixture that the vet gave me. I won’t be able to wrap it up in any kind of a bandage, but I am going to definitely try this!!! I am going to mix the salt and sugar into the liquid that I use to flush the wound with and than maybe sprinkle sugar on it afterwards…. I will have to make sure that, that does not encourage dirt etc. to stick to it though.
    I am excited to try this and to impress the vet!!!!

  22. khaye
    Reply

    Hi.. the reason why I saw this article, is because of my experience using sugar… 3 days ago, while I was working, I accidentally cut my finger (thumb) half inch wide, I know its deep because the bleeding is not normal, my aunt got nervous, even my husband telling me to go to the hospital for stitching… but I just relax and think of what will I do, the I remembered the article that I read in Facebook, that sugar can stop bleeding… so I went into the kitchen, with my husband and asked him to put some sugar into my finger, and we tie my finger using cotton and microphore, and it so amazing, because my wound eventually stop bleeding, and I took a mefenamic for the pain… and it really works… the next morning, its like nothing happen the past night because I don’t feel any pain.

  23. Alen
    Reply

    My wife was told by a plactic surgeon to try sugar in a wound that would not heal. Within a week the sore was healing. Her doctor thinks that she is crazy but it really worked and she did not have to have surgery to close the sore.

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