Treatments for Digital Ulcers: Topical

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Creams and Solutions
Manuka Honey/MediHoney
Spray-On Skin Cells
Wound Care Centers

Overview of Topical Treatments for Scleroderma Digital Ulcers

Leg UlcerTopical treatments for digital ulcers in systemic sclerosis patients include calcium alginate and collagen bandages, Apligraf, Botox, Manuka or MediHoney, Betadine, Dakin's, and Silvadene. Maggot applications may even be useful, especially for large vascular foot/leg ulcers. (Also see Overview of Digital Ulcers, What is Scleroderma? and Types of Scleroderma)

It cannot be emphasized enough that scleroderma finger ulcers are not a do-it-yourself project. Do not attempt any of the ideas listed here (or elsewhere on the Internet) without consulting your doctor first. (Also see Overview of Digital Ulcers, What is Scleroderma? and Types of Scleroderma)

Botox (Botulinum Toxin)

Additional studies would be valuable to find more uses for botox in treatment of chronic disorders.

Creams and Solutions

Generic Names Brand Names
povidone-iodine solution Betadine Solution
sodium hypochlorite-diluted Dakin's Solution ®
hydrogen peroxide solution (1.5%-3.0%)
silver sulfadiazine cream Silvadene ®.

Reduced perfusion in systemic sclerosis digital ulcers (DUs) (both fingertip and extensor) can be increased by topical application of glyceryl trinitrate (GTN). DUs (both fingertip and extensor) were responsive to topical GTN, with an increase in perfusion to the ischaemic DU centre. PubMed, Microvasc Res, 2016 Dec 24;111:32-36.

Platelet gel in the treatment of severe scleroderma skin ulcers. Platelet gel (PG) is a hemocomponent containing numerous growth factors, potentially useful for tissue reparation. During the 6-month follow-up, the skin ulcers consistently improved in 10/12 patients, with complete healing in 4. Dilia Giuggioli, Rheumatology International. (SpringLink).


Assessment of the antimicrobial properties of maggots. Complete lysis of the bacterial or fungal cultures in the area of maggot application provides convincing evidence for the antimicrobial property of maggots. This effect has a significant implication in management of diabetic foot ulcers and vascular ulcers. Margolin L. (PubMed) Int Wound J, 2010 Apr 23.

Manuka Honey, MediHoney

Manuka Honey. Studies have shown that high activity UMF Manuka Honey provides an optimum germ-free moist wound-healing environment which supports and facilitates the natural healing of varicose and skin ulcers, diabetic ulcers, pressure sores, wounds, burns, boils, cracked skin, cuts and grazes. Manuka

Spray-On Skin Cells

Spray-On Skin Cells Heal Wounds Fast. Spray-on skin cells produced by Healthpoint Biotherapeutics significantly improved wound healing versus standard care in patients with venous leg ulcers, results of a randomized trial showed. ABC News. 08/04/12.

Wound Care Centers

Many times Scleroderma skin ulcers are treated at wound care centers. Follow your doctor's advice carefully for healing wounds. And remember this rule of thumb:

"If it has not started healing in a month, it's not healing — it's getting worse!"

Go to Nailfold Capillaroscopy for Digital Ulcers

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