The role of alternative therapy in the management of partial thickness burns of the face--experience with the use of moist exposed burn ointment (MEBO) compared with silver sulphadiazine

Ann Acad Med Singap. 2000 Jan;29(1):7-10.


Introduction: Conventional management of partial thickness facial burn wounds includes the use of silver sulphadiazine dressings. Silver sulphadiazine forms an overlying slough that makes wound healing assessment difficult. Moist exposed burn ointment (MEBO) has been proposed as the ideal burn wound dressing both for burns of the face and other sites. Proponents of MEBO claim that it accelerates wound healing and results in scarless wound healing and at the same time reduce bacterial colonisation and the need for analgesics. We present here our experience with MEBO in the management of partial thickness burns of the face.

Materials and methods: One hundred and fifteen patients with partial thickness burns were randomly assigned to conventional treatment or MEBO. Out of this, 112 were analysed. Thirty-nine patients sustained facial burns; 17 received MEBO and 22 received silver sulphadiazine. Patients were followed up daily until the burn wounds were reduced by 75% of original body surface area (BSA).

Results: In patients with facial burns, MEBO was similar to silver sulphadiazine therapy with respect to rate of wound healing. Minimal slough was present over the wounds in MEBO-treated wounds resulting in clearer assessment of healing progression.

Conclusions: Advantages of MEBO as compared to silver sulphadiazine in the management of partial thickness burns of the face include convenient change of dressing and easier assessment of healing progression. This suggests that MEBO is a useful alternative therapy for partial thickness burns of the face.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Bandages*
  • Burns / therapy*
  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Facial Injuries / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Ointments
  • Prospective Studies
  • Silver Sulfadiazine / therapeutic use*
  • Wound Healing


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Ointments
  • Silver Sulfadiazine