The use of honey to treat wounds has been around since the 1300s and is the oldest known form of wound care1. Honey was used to fight off infections and was heavily relied upon until the creation of antibiotics. Now with the overuse of antibiotics, scientists have recently begun to explore how honey's physical characteristics play a role in wound healing.
Honey has antibacterial properties and a unique pH balance that promotes oxygen and healing compounds for wounds. Honey can be used on any wound at any stage of healing. Ideally, a person will use medical-grade honey, which is sterilized and therefore less likely to cause immune system reactions. Different types of honey have different potencies and antibacterial activity depending on the amount of hydrogen peroxide; therefore, medicinal honey is not the same as the honey used to sweeten your favorite tea. In most cases, honey is applied when conventional antibacterial treatment with antiseptics and antibiotics are not working.
The benefits of honey are utilized best with these type of wounds:
- Infected wounds and ulcers
- Pilonidal Sinus
- Diabetic foot ulcers
Honey also decreases inflammation, swelling, pain, and unpleasant odors. A honey dressing removes dead tissue painlessly and without causing damage to the regrowing cells. Honey also has been reported to negate the need for plastic surgery by stimulating epithelium growth and minimizes scarring.
Wounds and infections that do not heal quickly may have an underlying cause and need to be seen and treated by a healthcare professional. Visit the wound care specialists at NewportCare Medical Center to help get you on the road to healing.
NewportCare Medical Group is a comprehensive specialty group located in Newport Beach, California, specializing in advanced non-surgical and surgical treatments for a wide range of orthopedic conditions.