Limited evidence for honey in topical treatment of wounds

Clinical question: 
Does honey increase the rate of healing in acute and chronic wounds?
Bottom line: 
Honey may improve healing times in mild to moderate superficial and partial burns compared with conventional dressings (gauze and film dressings). Honey dressings do not significantly increase rates of healing of venous leg ulcers at 12 weeks when used as an adjunct to compression bandaging. There is insufficient evidence to determine the effect of honey compared with other treatments for burns or in other acute or chronic wound types.
Caveat: 
All the included burns trials have originated from a single centre which may have an impact on the replicability of findings.
Context: 
Honey is a viscous, supersaturated sugar solution derived from nectar gathered and modified by the honey bee, Apis mellifera. Honey has been used since ancient times as a remedy in wound care. More recently, trials have evaluated the effects of using honey to help wound healing in both acute wounds (eg, burns, lacerations) and chronic wounds (eg, venous leg ulcers, pressure ulcers).
Review CD#: 
CD002106
PEARLS No: 
135
Date: 
January, 2009
Authored by: 
Brian R McAvoy