Q. My wife was told by a plastic surgeon to try sugar in a wound that would not heal. Within a week the sore had begun to heal.

Her primary care doctor thinks that she is crazy, but it really worked. She did not need surgery to close the sore.

A. Richard Knutson, MD, an orthopedic surgeon, has treated approximately 7,000 wounds over 35 years with sugar. They ranged from pressure ulcers and burns to shotgun wounds.

Dr. Knutson recommends combining three parts powdered sugar and one part cooking oil until the mixture is uniformly smooth. A thick layer (1/4 to 1/2 inch) is then applied to a wound that is clean and not bleeding. The dressing is changed daily. More details and an interview with Dr. Knutson can be found at PeoplesPharmacy.com. He first published his research on this approach to healing in November, 1981, in the Southern Medical Journal. He has continued to refine the treatment since then, and it is simple enough to use at home.

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  1. Rex

    I do use meta-honey and it works pretty good and if you need stockings for your legs from your toes to your knee discount surgical .com between $19 .95 to $24 a pair U.S.

  2. Jenna
    Oklahoma City

    Over 95% of my body is burned with 2nd and 3rd degree burns. For a little over a year now my right heel has been open about 2 to 3 inches wide and hasn’t healed one bit and I have had 4 surgeries on it and 1 of those surgeries my heart stopped and one of my lungs collapsed. My doctor has told me now to try just powdered sugar, Ive read all the comments and It would be a miracle if this works. So thank you all for sharing your stories it truly gives me hope.

  3. jv

    As to the healing properties of sugar, I’m going to try this on my next cut. I wish my therapist would have known about this. I had a table saw accident three years ago and one of my fingers had a wound that stayed open for four months. This would have cut the healing time down considerably, if what I’m reading is true.

  4. Sundaresan

    Did you use Sugar or Honey or any other mentioned in the comments?

  5. Lisa

    I have suffered with eczema for over 40 years. I have tried almost everything. Since I often have open sores, I decided why not give this treatment a try. I cannot believe it. It works better than my steroid creams. After just one night, I can see a huge improvement. My open sores are healing. I can’t thank you enough for sharing this information.

  6. Larry

    The recipe calls for “Powdered Sugar” which I believe is the Confectioners sugar you suggest, also called 10X Sugar – these are not the granulated table sugar.

  7. GRD

    Reply to es:
    I too wondered about using sugar or honey on MRSA. Also using maggots (sterile of course), they have also been used for centuries. Seems like the doctors are very quick to cut you up if their latest high powered meds don’t work. Maybe a knowledgeable doctor can respond.

  8. es

    I wonder whether sugar or honey would be useful on MRSA or other super bug, anti-biotic resistant infections?

  9. DianeP

    Have used sugar on wounds in Nursing homes and Dakins solution in hospital and home settings, but never used sugar personally until I began using a homemade hand cleanser for dirty gardening hands. It contains 1 cup of GRANULATED sugar, 1/4 c. olive oil. and lemon. Not only does it clean dirty hands, but it imparts the oddest tingly sensation and leaves ones hands feeling rejuvenated! Little cuts and bug bite wounds heal up without infection very quickly. I love the stuff. Have lost my copy of the exact recipe, but will ask the Herbalist who gave it to our group for another copy. She advises when we use it to dip into the container with a clean utensil so as not to soil the mix.

  10. DS

    I would like to hear more. I think primary care doctors routinely think any idea from a patient is crazy.

  11. Lovaduck

    This is well known to me, and works great. My ex-wife who is a physician and now works here in the USA had been using the technique for years. She initially learned about it during her residency in Argentina (around 1981-82). She had to care for many old patients with ulcers or wounds that would not heal, and this was the least expensive and most effective way to treat them. I have also heard about combining sugar with lemon juice (sounds painful). But just white bleached sugar works very well.
    She probably believed in this because her training involved day by day contact with patients, doing chores that are now usually performed by nurses in the USA and (OMG!!!). She actually changed the wounds dressing, touched, palpated, probed, listened to the hearts and lungs and performed intensive hands on examinations of real suffering people. She also learned some compassion for the patients in the process. All that is gone from medical schools in the USA where patients have been replaced by crash dummies with electronics for training future doctors (this is true)…. but I digress!!!

  12. jt

    Honey works very well on wounds for healing and there is a honey called Manuka that I have heard works even better than regular honey.

  13. RC1956

    When I was suffering from infected diabetic ulcers the wound care doctor ordered MediHoney for me. It is a sheet of sticky yellow that you cut to fit around the wound and leave on for a day. It worked to heal the wound and I used it for a long time.
    It worked particularly when the wound was wet and not quite as good when it finally healed enough to be dry.

  14. Marlene

    I have heard a similar remedy by using Honey. Is this true?

  15. GRD

    It is difficult to understand how some doctors can claim that treating wounds with sugar is ridiculous. Honey has been used for centuries to heal wounds. As I understand, germs cannot live in that environment wether sugar or honey.

  16. Sylvia S.

    I have used honey for wound healing w/ excellent results. My brother had two courses of antibiotic for a wound on his leg (non-diabetic) which still would not heal. The doctor wanted him to go to a surgeon for debridement. I began to cleanse it w/ tea tree oil and applied honey and a dressing. Within a week it was almost completely healed and he didn’t go to any surgeon!!

  17. dr john h abeles

    Honey, especially dark honey, is thought to work as well or better than cane sugar for wound healing… if using sugar, some have preferred the finely ground ‘icing’ or ‘confectioner’s’ sugar…

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