Can you cure necrotizing fasciitis?
DISCLAIMER: CONSULT WITH A DOCTOR BEFORE DECIDING ON A TREATMENT PLAN FOR ANY DISEASE.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with streptococcal gangrene / necrotizing fasciitis, there are no guarantees in terms of a cure. Doctors typically prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics, surgery to remove infected tissues, and supportive therapy to treat this condition, but if you’re reading this article, you’re probably desperate. So I’m going to talk about two therapies that might be used in conjunction with what your doctor is recommending for treatment. Below we’ll talk about:
- Citric Acid dressings and other acidic dressings
- Colloidal Silver with Nano-particles and Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)
- Bacteriophage therapy
- The avoidance of NSAIDs and other anti-fever medications that might make the disease worse.
Citric Acid Cure for Necrotizing Fasciitis: Use pH to Cure Gangrene
In desperation, doctors at the Maharashtra Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (MIMSR) Medical College in Latur, India started using citric acid dressings to help patients with necrotizing fasciitis who couldn’t afford expensive antibiotic treatments. These patients, who had already undergone treatment with several rounds of antibiotics were running out of options, but they also ran out of funds. The end result was that, a group of doctors in India learned that by altering the pH of necrotizing fasciitis to make the wound it more acidic, they were able to clear up infections that were otherwise resistant to all but a very narrow set of antibiotic treatments.
These doctors cite a number of case studies reporting a cure for flesh-eating bacteria disease using a 3% citric acid dressing along with wound irrigation, antibiotic treatment, and eventually surgical grafting. A review of scientific literature on wounds showed that by lowering pH (and making burns, diabetic foot ulcers, gangrene, necrotizing fasciitis, and other surface wound infections more acidic), using a variety of acidic agents listed below, doctors have been able to cure drug-resistant infections caused by Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella, Proteus, Citrobacter, Staphylococcus epidermis, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Enterococci among others. In a hospital in India, patients were given 3% citric acid dressings over the infected wounds to successfully cure necrotizing fasciitis after a variety of antibiotics had been used unsuccessfully to cure the disease.
Below are some of the acidic agents that have been used in hospital settings to cure gangrene and necrotizing fasciitis according to scientific research (please see our resources section at the bottom of the page for links to the scientific studies):
- Citric Acid 2-3% (applied as a dressing)
- Acetic acid 1-5% (the acid that gives vinegar it’s biting taste)
- 3% Boric acid (boric acid typically can be used to treat necrotizing fasciitis with success within 6 days of the original application)
- Ascorbic acid
- Hyaluronic acid
- Alginic acid (found in the cell walls of brown algae)
- Honey that has a pH of 3.5 or less (low-pH honey has the added benefit of reducing the size of a wound–other acidic agents listed above may actually prevent the wound from getting smaller even while treating the infection).
These acids all increased antimicrobial activity, released oxygen, increased protease activity, reduced toxicity of bacterial end products, enhanced epithelialization, and promoted blood vessel development/healing (angiogenesis) to speed healing. They are typically applied to gauze dressings to cure necrotizing fasciitis and other infections.
Below are some of the wound infections that have responded to treatment with the acidic agents listed above:
- Diabetic foot infections
- Ulcers caused by leprosy
- Burn wound infections
- Skin infections in surgical wounds
- Snake bite ulcers
- Non-healing ulcers of any kind (decubitus ulcers/bed sores, or venous ulcers, for example)
- Chronic traumatic wounds
- Necrotizing fasciitis / gangrene / flesh-eating bacteria disease
One patient, a man, received 11 dressings over the course of 20 days. He had been infected with drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Initially, he had been diagnosed with septic shock and soft-tissue infection. He was given an IV of ceftizoxime at a dosage of 2 grams BD, netromycin, 300 mg OD, metronidazole 500 mg TDS, and crystalline penicillin at 2,000,000 units every six hours. This treatment was continued for 7 days without significant progress at quelling the infection. The man eventually had to have dead tissues removed surgically. He didn’t have the money to pay for more expensive antibiotic therapy, so he consented to the 3% citric acid solution, which cured his disease. He was given skin grafts to fill in the infected areas that had been killed by the infection.
Another patient, a woman, received 100 mL of ciprofloxacin daily and metronidazole (100 mL) every 8 hours along with injected amoxycillin and clavulanic acid at a dosage of 1.2 grams every 8 hours for 5 days. Her flesh-eating bacteria infection was unaffected by this treatment so doctors performed surgery. Her infection included Streptococcus pyogenes and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These bacteria appeared to be susceptible to amikacin, but they were resistant to a long list of other antibiotic therapies. The patient, unfortunately, couldn’t afford amikacin, so she consented to citric acid treatment instead. The citric acid dressings were applied one time each day. The procedure was done as a wound irrigation followed by a wound wash. Finally, pads that were soaked in 3% citric acid were placed on the infected, raw areas. Surgical debridement and the local application of 3 % citric acid eventually caused the formation of healthy skin after 20 application. Wound closure was accomplished through surgical skin grafting.
Another patient was infected with antibiotic resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This patient received a 2-3% citric acid dressing for the wounds from 3 to 7 times. This successfully eliminated the infection.
Contact Dr. B. S. Nagoba, PhD, Assistant Dean, Research, and Development for more information at
MIMSR Medical College
Colloidal Silver and DMSO for necrotizing fasciitis:
Necrotizing fasciitis is a fast-moving disease so we won’t linger here on a long introduction to this disorder. If you’re looking for a cure for necrotizing fasciitis, you probably don’t have a lot of time to read fluff.
So I’ll start with the potential cures for necrotizing fasciitis first and then explain how and why they could work:
- Colloidal Silver –
Colloidal silver is widely available and tremendously underestimated. Doctors use treatments that contain silver to treat severe burns because silver is naturally antibacterial. So, even a layperson without medical training can imagine how silver might be used to treat something like necrotizing fasciitis since severe burns are always at risk of developing a severe infection like flesh-eating disease. Normally, when I write about broad-spectrum cures for infections, I recommend chlorine dioxide, but chlorine dioxide is an oxidant, thus it won’t work against an infectious microorganism like Streptococcus pyogenes.
I’ve been researching psoriasis cures and for months I’ve been stuck on the fact that psoriasis is correlated with Streptococcus pyogenes infection. Strep is resistant to chlorine dioxide, so as I climb the Disease Family Tree that consists of diseases like psoriasis and necrotizing fasciitis, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and more, I keep finding these super-technical treatments that can only be done in a few clinics and hospitals in certain parts of the world. One of these treatments is photodynamic therapy which uses specific wavelengths of light and silver nanoparticles. In order for photodynamic therapy to work against oxidant-resistant microorganisms like those that cause necrotizing fasciitis, you have to get nano-particles of silver into the infectious cell. A specific wavelength of light can be shined on the area to achieve this goal, directing the silver nanoparticles into the infected area where the infectious organism is hiding out and reproducing. But this treatment is way too technical for most people who would inevitably need to find a cure for necrotizing fasciitis right away that could be applied by someone in a hospital environment or by a loved one, possibly against the wishes of doctors and nurses (though DMSO is FDA-approved). If someone you love is laying in a hospital bed with flesh-eating bacteria disease, you need to have access to a cure that could be applied discreetly even if doctors and nurses don’t entirely approve.
I have very little personal experience with colloidal silver because I’ve worked mostly with other things like chlorine dioxide and DMSO, but these things simply won’t work on a microorganism that can tolerate the oxygen that’s released by chlorine dioxide to kill microorganisms. Silver nano-particles, on the other hand are harder for the S. pyogenes infection to defend against. And instead of using light, you can use DMSO to get silver nano-particles into the cells. Simply combine DMSO and bio-active colloidal silver that contains nanoparticles in equal amounts to the wound. The patient should also take this concoction internally.
Colloidal silver works by blocking respiration in microorganisms that can tolerate oxygen. And if the clock is ticking down and you need to get started on a treatment, colloidal silver can be easily obtained quickly at health food stores. DMSO must be ordered online, but it is widely used in hospitals and dental clinics. Transplant organs, for example, are stored in DMSO and dentists usually put a drop of DMSO in the hole left behind after a tooth extraction. If time is of the essence, consider contacting dental or medical clinics in your area that may have some DMSO on hand.
This is a treatment for necrotizing fasciitis that is very similar to photodynamic therapy (where silver nanoparticles are escorted into human cells). Simply combine colloidal silver with Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). Be aware that when you combine these two substances there will be an exothermic chemical reaction that causes them to heat up a bit.
- Colloidal Silver + Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) –
DMSO is an FDA approved medication that has the broadest medicinal action currently in the books. It’s a natural substance that’s derived from trees. It has a toxicity profile resembling that of water (it is very non-toxic). But DMSO has a special property that allows it to dissolve things very easily. What this means is that if you put DMSO with an antibiotic or with another substance like dish soap or nail polish, that it will combine with these ingredients very easily. This property can be used in positive ways. For example, DMSO can sometimes be combined with antibiotics to make the antibiotics much stronger and more effective (ask your doctor about this–remember DMSO is FDA approved which means it could potentially be used “off-label” with an antibiotic to treat necrotizing fasciitis.) But remember, DMSO can also inadvertently combine with things like nail polish or toxic substances in your hair spray or tanning lotion that you definitely don’t want in your cells. So rinse thoroughly with clean, filtered water prior to use and only apply DMSO to the skin with a clean horse-hair paint brush or a brush made with other natural fibers.
- Bacteriophage Therapy –
Bacteriophage therapy is an ingenious method of treating a serious bacterial infection like Streptococcus pyogenes. This therapy releases very specific viruses into the body via injection. These viruses are harmless to humans, but they go after the bacteria and inject their DNA into the infectious bacteria through the cell membrane, which basically means that they take control of the bacteria. Basically you use a very targeted virus to overcome a bacterial infection.
Bacteriophage therapy is currently only available in the following 3 countries. Though these are the only countries that have embraced this type of therapy, it is possible to do distance-treatments through some facilities. The 3 countries that offer bacteriophage treatment include:
- Georgia (the country)
NOTE: There appears to be a Phage Therapy Center in New York as well.
Phage Therapy Treatment Centers:
45-1 Ramsey Road, Shirley, New York 11967, USA
3 Gotua Street, Tbilisi, Georgia
4D Arakishvilli Lane, Tbilisi, Georgia
Vacuum Assisted Closure System Flesh-Eating Bacteria Cure
A number of doctors have reported that the use of a vacuum assisted wound closure can stop the flesh-eating bacteria from spreading, allowing patients to keep their limbs and recover successfully. The VAC or Vacuum Assisted Closure system is used in tandem with other treatments like antibiotics and surgery in conventional treatment centers.
Necrotizing Fasciitis – What to Avoid:
- Avoid the use of ibuprofen in children who have chicken pox. Necrotizing fasciitis seems to be correlated with the development of necrotizing fasciitis in children with chicken pox who are given ibuprofen.
- NSAIDs like ibuprofen, indomethacin, aspirin, and ketorolac tromethamine should all be avoided by patients with necrotizing fasciitis. A number of studies have shown that the use NSAIDs can actually prolong illness and the severity of illness. Studies indicate that non-selective NSAIDs like ibuprofen can speed up the disease process causing patients to die sooner than if they hadn’t been given this NSAIDs. Other diseases have demonstrated similar effects using aspirin and acetaminophen.
- Many scientists theorize that the reason why NSAIDs are bad for patients with this disease is because the fever is important in helping the patient recover from the illness.
Other Important Links:
Edwards, R. (2017). Necrotizing Fasciitis: How to Avoid Flesh-Eating Bacteria. Retrieved May 27, 2021 from https://draxe.com/health/necrotizing-fasciitis/
Colloidal Health (2020). Colloidal Health. Retrieved May 27, 2021 from https://www.facebook.com/nerescuadro1/posts/the-power-of-colloidal-silver-and-dmso-combined-did-you-knowthat-cancerous-cells/981425762297912/
Hamilton, S. M., Bayer, C. R., Stevens, D. L., Bryant, A. E. (2014). Effects of Selective and Nonselective Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs on Antibiotic Efficacy of Experimental Group A Streptococcal Myonecrosis. Retrieved May 27, 2021 from https://academic.oup.com/jid/article/209/9/1429/884832
Esposito, A. L. (1984). Aspirin impairs antibacterial mechanisms in experimental pneumococcal pneumonia. Retrieved June 3, 2021 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6238561/
Doran, T. F., De Angelis, C., Baumgardner, R. A., Mellitus, E. D. (1989). Acetaminophen: more harm than good for chickenpox? Retrieved June 3, 2021 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2656959/
Graham, N. M., Burrell, C. J., Douglas, R. M., Debelle, P., Davies, L. (1990). Adverse effects of aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen on immune function, viral shedding, and clinical status in rhinovirus-infected volunteers. Retrieved June 2, 2021 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2172402/
Zerr, D. M., Alexander, E. R., Duchin, J. S., Koutsky, L. A., Rubens, C. E. (1999). A case-control study of necrotizing fasciitis during primary varicella. Retrieved June 3, 2021 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10103303/
Nagoba, B. S., Gandhi, R. C., Wadher, B. J., Gandhi, S. P., Selkar, S. P. (2010). Citric acid treatment of necrotizing fasciitis: a report of two cases. Retrieved June 2, 2021 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20666856/
Microbiological, histopathological and clinical changes in chronic wounds after citric acid treatment. Retrieved June 2, 2021 from https://www.microbiologyresearch.org/content/journal/jmm/10.1099/jmm.0.47647-0?crawler=true, , , , (2008).
Citric acid treatment of non-healing ulcers in leprosy patients. Retrieved June 2, 2021 from https://www.journalofhospitalinfection.com/article/S0195-6701(98)90095-0/pdf, ,
Martin, D. A., Nanci, G. N., Marlowe, S. I., Larsen, A. N. Necrotizing fasciitis with no mortality or limb loss. Retrieved June 2, 2021 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18807667/
Healthline (2021). What You Need to Know About Vacuum-Assisted Wound Closure (VAC). Retrieved June 2, 2021 from https://www.healthline.com/health/wound-vac
Nagoba, B. S., Deshmukh, S. R., Wadher, B. J., Kulkarni, P. B., Mane, V. A., Deshmukh, J. S. (1998). Treatment of superficial pseudomonal infections with citric acid: an effective an economical approach. Retrieved June 2, 2021 from https://www.journalofhospitalinfection.com/article/S0195-6701(98)90095-0/pdf
Nagoba, B. S., Suryawanshi, N. M., Wadher, B., Selkar, S. (2015). Acidic Environment and Wound Healing. Retrieved June 4, 2021 from https://www.woundsresearch.com/article/acidic-environment-and-wound-healing-review