Background: Wound healing is a dynamic and complex process affected by tissue hydration, the presence of bacteria, inflammation, and other variables. Oregano has potent antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies of oregano ointment on wound healing are lacking.
Objective: To determine the efficacy of 3% oregano extract ointment on wound healing.
Methods: An investigator initiated, randomized, double-blind, petrolatum-controlled study was performed to determine the effects of oregano ointment on wound healing. Forty patients who underwent surgical excision were enrolled and randomized. Cultures were obtained on day 12 and scars were evaluated using the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment tool on day 12, 45, and 90.
Results: The oregano ointment group had 19 percent of cultures test positive for Staphlococcus aureus compared to 41 percent in the petrolatum group. One patient in the oregano ointment group developed a cellulitis compared to three patients in the petrolatum group. The oregano group had a statistically significant improvement over petrolatum in scar color, pigmentation, and pliability.
Conclusion: Oregano extract ointment decreased bacterial contamination and subsequent infection on post-surgical wounds and had equivalent overall scar appearance compared to petrolatum.