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).