There has been a renaissance in recent times in the use of honey, an ancient and traditional wound dressing, for the treatment of wounds, burns, and skin ulcers. In the past decade there have been many reports of case studies, experiments using animal models, and randomized controlled clinical trials that provide a large body of very convincing evidence for its effectiveness, and biomedical research that explains how honey produces such good results.
As a dressing on wounds, honey provides a moist healing environment, rapidly clears infection, deodorizes, and reduces inflammation, edema, and exudation. Also, it increases the rate of healing by stimulation of angiogenesis, granulation, and epithelialization, making skin grafting unnecessary and giving excellent cosmetic results.
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The advice of Julie Betts, Wound Resource Nurse, Community Health, Health Waikato Ltd., New Zealand, and Val Robson, Clinical Nurse Specialist Leg Ulcer Care, University Hospital Aintree, Liverpool, England, on the practical aspects of the clinical usage of honey is gratefully acknowledged. Photographs were provided by Julie Betts.
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