Topical honey for diabetic foot ulcers

This article was published in the Journal of Family practice and does include actual photos of the foot ulcer and the healing that occured.


Topical honey for diabetic foot ulcers

Jennifer J. Eddy, MD; Mark D. Gideonsen, MD

University of Wisconsin Medical School, Eau Claire

A 79-year-old man with type 2 diabetes mellitus developed heel and forefoot ulcers, for which he received currently recommended therapy,1-5 including an off-loading orthotic, systemic antibiotics selected by infectious disease consultants, and topical therapies directed by a wound care expert.

After 14 months of care costing more than $390,000—which was the cost of 5 hospitalizations and 4 surgeries—the ulcers measured 8 x 5 cm and 3 x 3 cm. Deep tissue cultures grew methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), and Pseudomonas.

During this time the patient lost 2 toes but refused below-the-knee amputation. He was informed by 2 different surgical teams that without this surgery he would likely die. This opinion was based on the patient’s recurrent episodes of heel osteomyelitis and multiple medical complications, including acute renal failure from culture-specific antibiotics.

The patient was eventually discharged to his home at his request, after consulting with his family and the hospital’s ethics committee. He lost a third toe before consenting to a trial of topical honey.

  Course of treatment with honey

Once-daily, thick applications of ordinary honey purchased at a supermarket were smeared on gauze 4x4s and placed on the wounds, which were then wrapped. Oral antibiotics and saline dressings were discontinued, but otherwise treatment was unchanged. Since the patient’s family purchased and applied the honey, the cost of this therapy was merely that of the dressings. Dressing changes were painless and the serum glucose remained in excellent control.

Granulation tissue appeared within 2 weeks; in 6 to 12 months the ulcers resolved (see FIGURES 1-6). Two years later, the ulcers have not recurred; the patient ambulates with a walker and reports improved quality-of-life.

Link to Full Article  

 Another study of  honey used in medical treatments is the following:

http://www.jrms.gov.jo/magazine/2004/pdf_dec_2004/THE%20ROLE%20OF%20HONEY%20IN%20THE%20MANAGEMENT%20OF.pdf

Additional information