July 25, 1966

Gold-Leaf Treatment of Ischemic Skin Ulcers

Author Affiliations

San Mateo, Calif

JAMA. 1966;197(4):299. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110040109028

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To the Editor:—  It seemed peculiar that Wolf and collaborators in their article on gold-leaf treatment of ischemic skin ulcers (196:693,1966) made no mention of the extensive literature on the use of inert metal foils in the treatment of skin ulcers. Haeger (Acta Chir Scand125:32-41, 1963) reviews the use of aluminum foil which was introduced as an ulcer dressing in 1924! Some of the reports describing the therapeutic benefits from aluminum foil are fully as enthusiastic as the present paper on gold foil.In their discussion of the mechanism of action of gold leaf, the authors seem unaware of certain aspects of cutaneous wound healing. It is well documented (Hinman et al, Nature200:377, 1963) that occlusion accelerates epithelization of a skin wound. The mechanism is quite direct, the impermeable film keeps the wound moist and prevents scab formation. Gold foil probably acts simply as an