Honey Use in Burn Management: Potentials and Limitations
Forsch Komplementmed, 2010;17:74-80
Management of the burn wound still remains a matter of debate, and an ideal dressing for burn wounds has not yet been discovered. Naturally occurring substances such as honey have been found to be useful as a wound cover for burns.
Unlike most conventional local chemotherapeutics, honey does not lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and it may be used continuously. Among the challenging problems of using honey for medical purposes are dosage, safety, and formulation. Many approaches have been suggested to overcome such problems.
With the increased availability of licensed medical products containing honey, clinical use is expected to increase and further evidence will become available. Honey seems to have the potential to clear infection as well as to be an effective prophylactic agent that may contribute to reducing the risks of cross-infection.
A better understanding of the therapeutic and chemical properties of honey is needed to optimise the use of this product in the clinical management of burns. Its use in professional care centres should be limited to those with certified healing activities. The potentials and limitations of using honey as burn dressing are discussed in this review.