Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Honey Recommended for Venous, Diabetic Ulcers

Sweet on Honey's Healing Power
Barbara Turnbull, Toronto Star (Canada), 1/15/2008

Honey, I shrunk the cuts.

And if the hype around a new honey-based medical dressing is to be believed, it will continue shrinking ulcers at hospitals and wound-care clinics. What's more, it promises to also kill some resistant superbugs in wounds where antibiotics have failed.

Medihoney, newly approved in Canada and the U.S. as an anti-microbial dressing for managing chronic and acute wounds and burns, has recently been launched here by Derma Sciences, a manufacturer of wound- and skin-care products. The honey-based dressing is being evaluated at several hospitals, including Toronto's University Health Network.

"In the right wound, it's been very effective," says Nora Southon, a Hamilton wound-care nurse with 30 years' experience in treating difficult ulcers. "I've got a lot of patients on it right now, it's really taken off."…

Venous leg ulcers are usually the most challenging to treat, although about 75 per cent will heal with compression alone. For those that won't, compression is usually added to a medicated dressing. Studies with patients whose ulcers did not improve within six months of compression show Medihoney outperforms other commonly used dressings, Wolfenson says…

Southon has one patient with a venous ulcer that did not respond to any treatment for more than four years. "I put the Medihoney on her and, without even compression, within two weeks tops it had gone down 30 per cent," she says.

Diabetic ulcers are also responding well to Medihoney, she adds.

"It's an exciting product, in that it kills a lot of these super germs that we have in the hospitals now," Southon says, adding it's a bonus to avoid antibiotics for people with multi-resistant bugs…

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