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Re-introducing honey in the management of wounds and ulcers - theory and practice

Dressing wounds with honey was standard practice in past times but went out of fashion when antibiotics came into use. There has been a renaissance in its usage now that antibiotic-resistant bacteria have become a widespread clinical problem, and laboratory studies and clinical trials have shown that it is a very effective broad-spectrum antibacterial agent with no adverse effects on wound tissues. Modern studies have also shown that as well as having an antibacterial action, honey has several other activities that are beneficial to the wound healing process. It gives rapid autolytic debridement and deodorising of wounds, and stimulates the growth of wound tissues thus hastening healing and starting the healing process in dormant wounds. Its anti-inflammatory activity rapidly reduces pain, edema and exudate and minimises hypertrophic scarring. It also provides a moist healing environment for wound tissues with no risk of maceration of surrounding skin, and completely prevents adherence of dressings to the wound bed so that there is no pain and no tissue damage when dressings are changed. By use of appropriate dressing practices any problems of messiness and difficulty of handling can be easily overcome.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Molan, P. C. (2002) Re-introducing honey in the management of wounds and ulcers theory and practice. Ostomy/Wound Management 4811, 28-40.
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This is an authors postprint version of an article published in the journal, Ostomy/Wound Management. Used with permission.