A Comprehensive Review of Topical Odor-Controlling Treatment Options for Chronic Wounds

Alma Akhmetova, Timur Saliev, Iain U Allan, Matthew J Illsley, Talgat Nurgozhin, Sergey Mikhalovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The process of wound healing is often accompanied by bacterial infection or critical colonization, resulting in protracted inflammation, delayed reepithelization, and production of pungent odors. The malodor produced by these wounds may lower health-related quality of life and produce psychological discomfort and social isolation. Current management focuses on reducing bacterial activity within the wound site and absorbing malodorous gases. For example, charcoal-based materials have been incorporated into dressing for direct adsorption of the responsible gases. In addition, multiple topical agents, including silver, iodine, honey, sugar, and essential oils, have been suggested for incorporation into dressings in an attempt to control the underlying bacterial infection. This review describes options for controlling malodor in chronic wounds, the benefits and drawbacks of each topical agent, and their mode of action. We also discuss the use of subjective odor evaluation techniques to assess the efficacy of odor-controlling therapies. The perspectives of employing novel biomaterials and technologies for wound odor management are also presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)598-609
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sept 30 2016


  • Administration, Topical
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Charcoal
  • Deodorants
  • Honey
  • Humans
  • Iodine
  • Metronidazole
  • Odorants
  • Silver Compounds
  • Wound Healing
  • Journal Article
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing


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