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Using honey to heal diabetic foot ulcers

Diabetic ulcers seem to be arrested in the inflammatory/proliferative stage of the healing process, allowing infection and inflammation to preclude healing. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have become a major cause of infections, including diabetic foot infections. It is proposed here that the modern developments of an ancient and traditional treatment for wounds, dressing them with honey, provide the solution to the problem of getting diabetic ulcers to move on from the arrested state of healing. Honeys selected to have a high level of antibacterial activity have been shown to be very effective against antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria in laboratory and clinical studies. The potent anti-inflammatory action of honey is also likely to play an important part in overcoming the impediment to healing that inflammation causes in diabetic ulcers, as is the antioxidant activity of honey. The action of honey in promotion of tissue regeneration through stimulation of angiogenesis and the growth of fibroblasts and epithelial cells, and its insulin-mimetic effect, would also be of benefit in stimulating the healing of diabetic ulcers. The availability of honey-impregnated dressings which conveniently hold honey in place on ulcers has provided a means of rapidly debriding ulcers and removing the bacterial burden so that good healing rates can be achieved with neuropathic ulcers. With ischemic ulcers, where healing cannot occur because of lack of tissue viability, these honey dressings keep the ulcers clean and prevent infection occurring.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Molan, P. C. & Betts, J. A. (2008). Using honey to heal diabetic foot ulcers. Advances in Skin & Wound Care, 21(7), 313-316.
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
The article available in this repository is the author’s accepted version. The final published version is available from the journal: Advances in Skin & Wound Care.