A Finnish folk remedy made from spruce tree resin and unsalted butter is more effective at treating severe pressure ulcers than sodium carboxymethylcellulose, say researchers.
They found 92% of ulcers healed after six months treatment with the resin salve compared to 44% in the control group. Both treatments were accompanied by dressings, which were changed either daily or every three days depending on infection level.
Results from the study of 22 patients with 29 ulcers will be published in the British Journal of Dermatology.
Nina Goad, of the British Association of Dermatologists, said: ‘Unfortunately current treatments aren’t always successful, so any advances that could lead to new therapies are worth investigating. It will be interesting to see what larger, follow-up studies into resin reveal.’
A previous study by UK researchers estimated that treating pressure ulcers cost the NHS 4% of its total annual expenditure.