Effect of Topical Garlic on Wound Healing and Scarring: A Clinical Trial


Minhal Alhashim 1 2 3, Jamie Lombardo

Main idea: Surgical wounds treated with 30% garlic ointment healed with more cosmetically appealing scars than the Vaseline-treated sites.


Background: Historically, garlic containing compounds have been used on wounds to improve healing and ward off infection. Researchers have tested many of these ancient ointments, discovering that garlic is a common ingredient in those that are effective.

Objective: To determine the efficacy of topical garlic on surgical wounds compared with Vaseline by analysis of visual analog scales and digital photograph analysis.

Materials and methods: Seventeen patients with 2 skin excisions applied a 30% garlic ointment to one surgical wound and Vaseline to the other surgical wound twice daily. They were followed up at 2 weeks and 4 weeks post-op. Digital photographs were taken of the sites, and wound visual analog scales were filled out by the patient and the physician.

Results: Patients and the onsite physician stated the garlic site healed better in 59% and 65% of the wounds, respectively, at 2 weeks. At 4 weeks, the patients and the onsite physician stated the garlic site healed better in 76% and 88% of wounds, respectively. Digital photograph analysis revealed less erythema at the garlic sites.


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