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Published Online: 5 July 2004

Comparison of Propolis Skin Cream to Silver Sulfadiazine: A Naturopathic Alternative to Antibiotics in Treatment of Minor Burns

Publication: The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine
Volume 8, Issue Number 1

Abstract

Background: Propolis, a naturopathic substance derived from bees wax extract, has recently been praised for its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and cicatrization-enhancing properties.
Objective: In our study, we compare these properties in a high-grade Brazilian propolis skin cream directly with silver sulfadiazene (SSD) in the treatment of minor burns (superficial second degree) in the ambulatory care setting (less than 20% total body surface area burned).
Settings/location: The study was conducted at the burn clinic in Pronto Socorro para Queimaduras, Gioania, Brazil.
Subject: Patients were admitted to the study only if their initial presentation for burn care was within 48 hours postinjury and if bilateral wounds of similar depth and quality were present.
Interventions: Patients had propolis skin cream applied to one wound and SSD applied to the other selected wound on initial presentation and underwent debridement and dressings change the following morning. Patients subsequently returned to the clinic every 3 days to have the wounds checked and dressings changed. At these check-ups, wounds were cultured for microbial growth and photographed to document inflammation and cicatrization. Patients were instructed not to disturb their wounds or change their dressings at home, thus propolis skin cream and SSD were applied to the wounds only at the specified 3-day intervals.
Results: Our preliminary results do not show any significant difference in microbial colonization between wounds treated with SSD and propolis skin cream, however, wounds treated with propolis skin cream consistently showed less inflammation and more rapid cicatrization then those treated with SSD.
Conclusion: Propolis skin cream appears to have a beneficial effects on the healing of partial thickness burn wounds. If dressings had been changed more frequent the antimicrobial and wound healing effects would have been enhanced.

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cover image The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine
Volume 8Issue Number 1February 2002
Pages: 77 - 83
PubMed: 11890438

History

Published online: 5 July 2004
Published in print: February 2002

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Scott R. Gregory
School of Medicine University of Texas, Medical Branch, Galveston TX
Nelson Piccolo
Pronto Socorro para Queimaduras, Gioania, Brazil
Maria T. Piccolo
Pronto Socorro para Queimaduras, Gioania, Brazil
Monica S. Piccolo
Pronto Socorro para Queimaduras, Gioania, Brazil
John P. Heggers
School of Medicine University of Texas, Medical Branch, Galveston TX; Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas, Medical Branch, Galveston, TX and Shriners Burns Hospital, Galveston, TX

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