Experience with Honey Dressings

By: Ghulam Qadir Fayyaz, M.D.

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To make our work more scientific, we are working on the following programs:

1. Collaboration with the world-renowned biological research facilities like the University of Agriculture, Nuclear institute of Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering and Punjab Institute of Nuclear Medicine, all based in Faisalabad.
2. Finding and establishing a uniform source of Citrus Honey, which is found in abundance in our neighborhood. Our area boasts the production of some of the best citrus fruit in the world.
3. Packaging and Gamma-sterilization according to the FDA standards.
4. Quantitative cultures of the wounds on serial basis to determine the efficacy of the dressings.

We do experience many financial and logistic restraints but this has not kept us from pursuing the cause of the poor patients in our part of the world.


On the basis of this study & clinical observations it can be firmly said that honey is the 1st choice for dressing in burn wounds / ulcers. In all those cases where honey was compared with sliver sulphadiazine none of the bacterial culture showed heavy microbial growth one week after commencement of honey application.

The partial thickness burns healed better and early (100% by 10 days) as compared to silver sulphadiazine where healing was completed only in 70% cases by 15th day. In honey dressed wounds early subsidence of acute inflammation, better control of infection and quick wound healing resulted in better wound coverage .The hospital stay and expenses were reduced by 30%.

In full thickness burns healthy granulation was observed earlier, making earlier grafting possible. Lower incidence of hypertrophic scarring and eventual contractures was observed in all patients who had been on honey dressings.

Honey dressing is more patient and wound friendly. The wounds became red, free of necrotic unhealthy tissue at accelerated rate. Most of our patients remained happy and felt far less pain with honey dressing removal and application except few who felt transient stinging in immediate post dressing period. This was in those who had generally low threshold for pain. It was managed adequately with a dose of analgesia just prior to dressing session.


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