Larva Therapy - an Effective and Inexpensive Way to Treat Wounds
Wound care methods have significantly improved over time but chronic wounds like pressure sores and diabetic ulcers are still a considerable challenge for health care professionals. Despite the availability of cutting edge medical technology and improved medicines, many people feel that alternative therapies are a better choice. One of the biggest reasons for using such therapies is the belief that these methods do not have as many side effects as conventional medicines.
Larva therapy is an age old wound care method, which is specifically used for wound debridement. Debridement is the process in which dead tissues are removed from the wound bed. This is a very important step in wound care because if dead tissues are left in the wound, it will hamper the healing process. Larva therapy not only does debridement, it also disinfects the wound and thus promotes healing. Larva secretes certain juices which eat away dead tissues and leave the healthy tissues unharmed. During removal of dead tissues, larva ingests bacteria among them thus reducing the chances of development of an infection. This therapy promotes the formation of granulation tissue and helps wounds heal quickly. In a small study, it was observed that the wounds that were treated with larva therapy, healed in about four weeks. However, the wounds treated with conventional therapy, had dead tissues present even after five weeks. Larva therapy is used to treat various types of wounds such as pressure sores, venous leg ulcers, burns and diabetic feet. It is very effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MRSA.
Larva therapy significantly reduces pain and bad odor in the wound and does not have any side effects. It is also very cost-effective as compared to conventional treatment methods. A small study compared the use of larva therapy and hydrogel wound dressings like duoderm and found that larva therapy not only accomplished successful debridement in just one application, it was also very cost-effective. It can be easily done at home or in out-patient facilities. The wounds heal relatively quickly because larvae are applied on the wound for three days thus cause fewer disturbances to the wound bed.
Although antibiotics are a great weapon in the fight against infection, they have also contributed to the birth of ‘antibiotic resistant bacteria’. Larva therapy has shown to be effective against antibiotic resistant bacteria. Unfortunately, despite all the benefits of using larva on wounds, it is still viewed with contempt and carries a negative perception among patients as well as many doctors.
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