[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 54.161.128.52. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Views 139
Citations 0
Notable Notes
August 2016

The Power to Heal

Author Affiliations
  • 1Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri
  • 2Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida
  • 3Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska
JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(8):954. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.4236

Blood gushing out from skin that was ruthlessly sliced open; all of us have experienced a wound that needed healing. The oldest known record of wound care is a Mesopotamian clay tablet written around 2200 bce that details the “3 healing gestures”: cleaning injuries with beer; preparing plaster wound dressings out of oil, vegetation, mud, or clay; and wrapping the wound with a bandage soaked in wine and turpentine.1,2 The Egyptians are credited with pioneering adhesive bandages and the use of honey in wound care,1 which we now know has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties, including the ability to kill methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.2 The Egyptians also painted wounds with a green paint made out of copper, which is deadly to bacteria. In addition, Egyptian embalming to wrap dead bodies and prevent decomposition is thought to have influenced the development of infection control.1

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview
×