Pinch of salt: A modified technique to treat umbilical granuloma

Pediatr Dermatol. 2019 Jul;36(4):561-563. doi: 10.1111/pde.13851. Epub 2019 May 23.


Background: Umbilical granuloma is an overgrowth of granulation tissue following the separation of umbilical cord. Treatment options for this common entity are limited and have side effects such as chemical burns. In this study, we present a novel modification of the salt application method to treat infants with umbilical granuloma.

Methods: Seventeen infants were recruited in our study after institutional ethics committee approval and consent from the parents. The area of application was cleaned, and common table salt was carefully applied over the lesion. The granuloma was then occluded with surgical adhesive tape for 24 hours. Cases were followed up the next day to remove the occlusive tape and for assessment of improvement.

Results: All seventeen cases responded well to this approach with complete resolution of lesions at 24 hours. Small clotlike shrunken tissue was found at the site of granuloma, which was easily scraped off during gentle cleansing. No major complication or recurrence was noted in 3 months of follow-up.

Conclusion: Complete resolution of umbilical granuloma can be achieved with a single, clinic-based application of salt under occlusion for 24 hours. Salt causes shrinkage of granuloma inside occluded hyperosmolar chamber by desiccant effect. The salient features of this method include ease of application, low cost of treatment, accurate one-time physician-controlled application, and complete and rapid resolution without complication.

Keywords: neonatal; therapy-topical.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Female
  • Granuloma / diagnosis
  • Granuloma / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Sampling Studies
  • Skin Diseases / diagnosis
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy
  • Sodium Chloride / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Umbilicus / pathology*


  • Sodium Chloride