Treatment of Umbilical Granuloma in Infants With Topical Application of Common Salt: A Scoping Review

J Pediatr Surg. 2023 Sep;58(9):1843-1848. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2023.03.007. Epub 2023 Mar 15.


Background: Common salt is a safe, effective and cheap home-made remedy for umbilical granuloma. The aim of this scoping review is to identify and summarize the available evidence and examine the research conducted on salt treatment for umbilical granuloma.

Methods: A literature search was performed in the second week of September, 2022 using Google scholar, PubMed, MEDLINE and EMBASE databases using the keywords 'umbilical granuloma' and 'salt treatment' to identify all English articles pertaining to salt treatment for umbilical granuloma. Tables were made to summarize the methodological characteristics, results and the dosage regimens of salt used by different authors. The Cochrane Collaboration's tool was used for assessing risk of bias in RCTs. The indexing statuses of the journals publishing these studies were also noted. The overall efficacy with the use of common salt was calculated by adding the success rates mentioned in each study.

Results: Twenty-four articles (2 systematic reviews, 6 Randomized Controlled Trials, 11 prospective cohort studies, 1 case control study, 3 retrospective case series and 1 case report) were included. An overall 93.91% success rate (1033/1100) was seen with common salt application, without any reports of complications/recurrences.

Conclusion: Topical application of common salt for umbilical granulomas is simple, effective and inexpensive. This scoping review provides a broader outlook at the existing level of evidence and may help in planning interventional comparative studies, so that recommendations can be formulated. It also highlights a lack of properly designed randomized controlled trials on this topic.

Level of evidence: I.

Keywords: Common salt; Copper sulphate; Scoping review; Umbilical granuloma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Granuloma* / drug therapy
  • Granuloma* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sodium Chloride* / therapeutic use


  • Sodium Chloride