Chlorophyll accelerates second-degree burn healing

Chlorophyll: A preliminary report of its use in two cases of second and third degree burns.

Hawton, H.  1950. Med.J.Aust. 337-340.

Background: In addition to being exceptionally painful, second and third degree burns disrupt the skin’s natural protective barrier and make sufferers vulnerable to various infections. Modern burn therapy includes keeping the wound clean and as sterile as possible, minimizing pain, and assuring the patient gets adequate hydration. The key is to promote skin closure and healing as quickly as possible, though this can take months depending on the severity of the burn.

Case 1. A man suffered extensive 2nd and 3rd degree burns to his face and upper body after falling into a fire.  Conventional treatment plus penicillin was used.  Four days later his condition improved although his eyes exuded pus.  A week later the burns were discharging pus and were malodorous and no healing was apparent.

Two weeks after the accident the burns were debrided and the surface covered with chlorophyll-soaked gauze. The following day, malodour had improved and extensive new skin and tissue had formed over the wounds so that the dressings could be removed.

After 4 days, much of the neck and face had healed, and even allowed shaving. There was no scarring, and almost no contraction or stiffening of the skin, but one eyelid required some surgical treatment. Healing was complete about a month and a half after the accident and a month after the first chlorophyll dressing. It is unusual for severe burns to heal so quickly.

Case 2. A young man spilt boiling water into his boot, causing 2nd-degree scalding of his calf. The wound was cleaned carefully, and a 5% chlorophyll pack was applied. Two days later, the wound was already dry, and healing had already taken place over most of the area. A soft, non-adhesive antiseptic dressing was then applied to the healed portion, while a chlorophyll dressing was used to cover the unhealed parts. A week after the accident, only a protective dressing was needed. Thus, a mere 7 days were required for healing. Scar tissue was minimal and the
skin’s appearance subsequently returned to normal.

1. The rate of healing when chlorophyll is used is so rapid that its inclusion in the armamentarium of burns treatment is suggested.
2. Chlorophyll completely supersedes the sulphonamide compounds as a primary dressing for clean and potentially infected wounds.
3. Chlorophyll is a powerful deodorant.