When the body enjoys good health, infections are not an issue. The skin serves as a barrier to the constant exposure to bacteria and other pathogens. Scrapes, cuts and open wounds or lesions however provide these microorganisms access to the body’s interior. These wounds provide them an opportunity to thrive and flourish. Pathogens take advantage of this and begin to reproduce rapidly. In a healthy immune system the immune response is immediate. T-cells utilize the lymph fluid to dispatch these invaders to the lymph nodes for proper elimination. In weakened immune systems this does not occur quickly enough to avoid being overrun. Infections may appear in wounds or lesions that are not properly cleaned of debris such as dirt and bacteria and may jumpstart this degenerative process. These contaminated wounds are more likely to become infected if there is a presence of material foreign to the body. There is also the possibility in Morgellons for the bacteria and other pathogens to form a biofilm which prevents the effective use of antibiotic and antiseptic agents from working properly.
Washing and cleaning the wound or lesion is the first step in caring for the injury and preventing infections. Foreign matter is removed with running water, a wash cloth or tweezers. then the site is washed with a mild antiseptic soap and filtered water. There is a common tendency to use harsh cleaning agents like witch hazel, isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. These methods of cleaning wounds are not recommended as these solutions may damage the tissues ability to heal. There are many other methods and solutions that one can use to cleanse wounds. There is a pharmaceutical cleanser called Hibicleans that surgeons use to prep their hands before surgery. It is also used to cleanse the site of the procedure on the body and to sterilize the resulting wound or stitches. This is available at most pharmacies and online also.
This post examines the use of honey as a cleaning agent for small wounds and lesions. There is even a small amount of hydrogen peroxide created in the application of honey on wounds. This is a reaction to the exuded liquids with the honey or the act of diluting it with filtered water. This use of hydrogen peroxide is cleansing and healing unlike the stronger peroxides. Honey has antibacterial properties and the peroxide produced when cleaning wounds is about 1000 times lower than the use of hydrogen peroxide.
Warning: Wounds treated at home or by health care practitioners, should be observed for symptoms of infection during the first several days after treatment. If any symptoms of infection develop, medical assistance should be sought within several hours.
Potential Risk Factors for Infection
These are factors that increase the potential risk of infection in lesions. In Morgellons the appearance of lesions seems to be a result of a toxic tipping point having been reached in the body. This includes the lesions that occur as a result of “biting and stinging”. I also believe that certain yeasts such as Candida Albicans sometimes can penetrate the lining of the intestinal tract and become systemic. Once in the bloodstream these pathogen have free access to other parts of the body where they wreak havoc. They seem to sometimes express themselves in lesions. Lesions sometimes manifest during a successful treatment. This reaction is known as the Herxhiemer effect. Though a sign that an ongoing treatment is working these lesions should be monitored for infection.
- Weak Immune System: The immune system is the part of the body that fights infection. This may be weakened by toxin overloads, radiation, poor nutrition, and certain medicines, such as anti-cancer medicines or steroids. These all may contribute to the body’s tipping point.
- Diseases: Diseases such as Morgellons, Lymes’ disease, malnutrition, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, hepatitis, or other liver, kidney or lung conditions impair the body’s healing response.
- Foreign Objects: Dead tissue and foreign objects, such as glass, dirt, fibers, pods, “seeds” or metal that remain in the wound impair healing.
- Poor Blood Supply or Low Oxygen: Blood flow and the cells receiving oxygen may be impaired by high blood pressure, and vascular inflammation. This is condition is further worsened by exposure to smoke and chemical agents in the environment. Certain blood, heart and lung diseases also cause low oxygen levels in the blood.
- Repeated Trauma: Constant pressure from dressings on wounds may increase wound infection and impair healing. This includes picking at lesions.
- Surgery: Infection of cuts made during surgery, also called surgical site infection (SSI), may occur. Seek medical attention from the practitioner.
Signs of Wound Infection
- High or low body temperature, low blood pressure, or a fast heart beat. Be aware however that many Morgies report a lower than normal body temperature. 95.5 – 97 degrees farenheit seems to be a constant. This creates an ideal environment for fungi. It may be worthwhile to increase one’s metabolism through diet and exercise to remedy this.
- Continued discharge from the wound. This includes blood, pus and other fluids. The fluid may have an offending odor or color.
- Swelling of the lesion/wound and an accompanying soreness.
- Spreading or developing new lesions/wounds around the immediate area treated.
- Failure of lesions/wounds to heal with treatment.
Debridement of Wounds
This is an essential part of treating wounds. It is a process of cleaning and removing debris from a wound. I personally have reservations about the physical picking at wounds. There are several methods of debridement that are covered in great detail on Medscape. I have heard horror stories about Morgellons sufferers and their attempts to debride wounds. There is a debriding process that occurs in treating wounds with honey. In this process a mild form of hydrogen peroxide is produced that with the honey’s qualities of antibacterial action, provides rapid autolytic debridement. This is the body’s natural process of using enzymes for debridment. The enzymes in honey support this function. The dead or dying tissues are moistened to re-hydrate then they are softened. The enzymes then liquefy the offending material and it sloughed off. In addition honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which cause a healthy immune response.
In an extensive report, Dr. Peter Charles Molan PhD has compiled much medical information on the medicinal use of honey to treat infected wounds. His findings are grounded in many research studies and strongly point to the benefits of its use in this manner. He lists the positive effects of honey, its components and it’s products that occur when applied to topical wounds.
Honey has an extensive role in the history of medicine and folk remedies. It has been used in this manner for thousands of years. The introduction of the microscope and the birth of modern medicine has verified the healing qualities it possesses. Some studies have determined that it contains antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal qualities that effectively kill over 60 species of bacterium even antibiotic resistant forms, and is effective against many forms of fungi.
- Antibacterial properties of honey include the release of low levels of hydrogen peroxide. As different honeys are composed of different pollens and botanical ingredients there are some that have an additional phytochemical antibacterial components.
- Many traditions have used honey in infected wounds and some recent studies advocate its use on wounds preventively against MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Using Manuka Honey to Treat Wounds
Manuka honey is highly prized for it’s unique health benefits. It is made from the nectar collected from flowers of the manuka bush in New Zealand. It is widely available but may also be found online. The UMF rating indicates the strength of the antibacterial effect of the Mankua Honey. UMF is the abbreviation of Unique Manuka Factor. A UMF rating of 16 or higher is considered medicinal grade and should be used in the wound dressing treatments described here.
- Dilutions of water to honey will release the hydrogen peroxide that aids in healing wounds. A ratio of 1:20 is very effective. That is one part water to 20 parts honey. The wound may need frequent cleaning and re-application of the honey if it is weeping often. If not then the application may be left on for 3 -4 days. At this point the antimicrobial, antiseptic and antibacterial components in the honey have already been absorbed by the healing tissue and need to be replenished.
- Some have found that on larger wounds the honey should be applied to the dressing to prevent it from running off the wound.
- Wounds that are weepy and moist may require a second bandage or dressing that is nonabsorbent to prevent the dressing from wicking away the honey. Elastic bandages work well.
- Deeper wounds may require filling with honey to ensure the healing qualities are available to the tissues being repaired.
- Honey should be applied to the wound and the tissues immediately around it. Infections often lie beneath and around the damaged tissue.
Honey is water-soluble and its components are biodegradable. It can be used on sensitive tissues such as mucous membranes and is easily washed away with warm water.
Home Remedies for the Treatment of Wounds:
- Antiseptic Lotion or Cream: If you have some gauze and disinfectant at home, simply clean up with the disinfectant and apply an antiseptic lotion or cream. After that, wrap this wound with clean cotton gauze.
- Turmeric Powder: Another effective method for treating infections, can be applied on the wound. Also adding some turmeric powder to warm milk and drink it everyday. It treats the infection as well as increases the body’s immunity. Turmeric powder is both a disinfectant and an antiseptic.
- Onions: Mince some onions and apply the paste on the wounded skin. Leave this on for an hour. After an hour wash off the paste and cover the wound for some time. The onion has properties that help it to remove the infection from the wound. However, it is important to wash away the paste immediately after keeping it on for an hour. Do not touch any other part off the body with this paste.
- Honey: Honey contains some enzymes that help treat the wound and remove infection. Apply a small amount of diluted honey (water 1 part honey 20 parts) over your wound and cover it with gauze. Leave it on for about half an hour before removing the gauze. It is important to not keep the gauze on for a long period of time otherwise the threads tend to stick to the wound.
- Garlic Juice: Garlic juice is another antibacterial remedy. However, garlic juice is quite hot and should never be used in its concentrated form. Mix the juice of 2-3 cloves of garlic with some water. Smear this solution all over the wound and cover with a cotton pad. This will help release the infection in the form of pus. Wipe the wound clean then and cover it with a soft piece of gauze.
Caution: Professional help must be sought out by a licensed Physician if one’s lesions or wounds become infected. This cannot be ignored. Infections that worsen must have immediate medical attention. This information is educational only and not intended to be used to treat an active infection. The subject at hand is meant to prevent lesions and wounds from becoming infected. If lesions are an issue one should seek professional help.