Honey may serve as a wound-healing agent for scalp wounds, especially in patients who are poor surgical candidates, according to a case report in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open.
The case involved a 45 year old male with a history of diabetes and recurrent soft-tissue infections.
He suffered from necrotizing fasciitis on the scalp due to a shaving injury. As a result, two distinct areas of the scalp were excised to the bone, measuring 10 x 5 cm and 2 x 2 cm.
Seven weeks after excision, he experienced a persistent right paramedian scalp defect measuring 6.4 x 3.0 cm with exposed bone and a smaller defect of 1.3 x 1.3 cm.
The patient was considered a poor surgical candidate due to previous experience with poor wound healing and recurrent infections.
He was instructed to use medical-grade honey (Medihoney, DermaSciences) applied twice a day and covered with a nonstick dressing.
After 2 weeks the smaller wound had decreased in size to 1 x 1 cm.
At 3 months, the smaller wound had contracted further to 0.6 x 0.7 cm and the larger wound was stable in size at the periphery, but began developing bridging granulation tissue in the wound bed.
The smaller wound healed by 5 months and completely epithelialized and the larger wound had decreased to 3.8 x 2.0 cm.
At this point, researchers considered this an excellent prognosis and did not expect a need for surgery.
The researchers wrote that honey has positive effects on wounds including bactericidal activity and promotion of wound granulation and epithelialization.
Honey may influence three phases of wound healing: inflammatory, proliferation and remodeling, they said.
Researchers also noted that medical honey is also a much more cost-effective treatment than surgery. – by Abigail Sutton
Disclosure: The researchers reported no relevant financial disclosures.