Reducing infection in chronic leg ulcers with an activated carbon cloth dressing

Br J Nurs. 2016 Jun 23;25(12):S38-44. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2016.25.12.S38.


Zorflex is a new type of antimicrobial dressing composed of 100% activated carbon cloth. It attracts and binds bacteria to its surface, enabling them to be safely removed at dressing change. It has no reported toxic effects and can be used on either a short-or long-term basis. This article describes 4 case studies in which patients with recalcitrant chronic venous leg ulcers that were prone to recurrent infection were treated with the activated carbon cloth dressing. All of the wounds had failed to respond to antimicrobial dressings containing silver, iodine or polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB), and were heavily exuding and painful. In all cases, the signs of infection reduced significantly within 4 weeks, resulting in good patient outcomes.

Keywords: Activated charcoal; Exudate; Infection; Pain; Venous leg ulcer.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use
  • Bandages
  • Charcoal / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Leg Ulcer / therapy*
  • Occlusive Dressings
  • Varicose Ulcer / therapy*
  • Wound Healing
  • Wound Infection / prevention & control*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Charcoal