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Use of propolis for skin wound healing: systematic review and meta-analysis

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Abstract

Propolis is a natural resin that is produced by bees. It has anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties, promotes reepithelization, and stimulates skin regeneration. Propolis has great potential for the development of new therapeutic approaches to treat skin ulcers. The present study performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies of the use of propolis for the regeneration of cutaneous wounds and its efficacy as a therapeutic agent. Data were collected from articles in the PubMed, SCOPUS, and Web of Science databases that were published since 1900 by searching the terms “propolis” AND “wound healing.” This search yielded 633 articles, of which 43 were included in this systematic review and meta-analysis. The results showed that interest in the therapeutic efficacy of propolis has increased over the years. The studies reported that the propolis was effective for the treatment of skin ulcers by promoting a higher percentage of healing than classically employed interventions. The mode of propolis application has also evolved. An increasing number of studies combined it with other substances and materials to achieve additive or synergistic effects on the skin regeneration process. Propolis appears to be an effective therapeutic alternative for the treatment of skin ulcers.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Dr. Luiz Felipe Machado Velho for suggestions during project development and Dr. Jéssica Andrade Vilas Boas for suggestions on protocols and scripts for the analyses and meta-analysis. This research was developed with the support of Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP).

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The study conception and design were performed for JCMV and JTRP Literature review and data collection for meta-analysis were performed by JCMV, TAF, ERA and MMF. The data analysis were performed by JCMV, TAF, AEES and JTRP. The first draft of the manuscript was written by JCMV and JTRP and the critical review of the manuscript were performed by JCMV, JTRP, FARL, MRS and AEES. All authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to João Tadeu Ribeiro-Paes.

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Machado Velho, J.C., França, T.A., Malagutti-Ferreira, M.J. et al. Use of propolis for skin wound healing: systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Dermatol Res 315, 943–955 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00403-022-02455-8

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