The clinical and cost effectiveness of bee honey dressing in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2010 Sep;89(3):276-81. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2010.05.021. Epub 2010 Jun 19.


Honey is known, since antiquity, as an effective wound dressing. Emergence of resistant strains and the financial burden of modern dressings, have revived honey as cost-effective dressing particularly in developing countries. Its suitability for all stages of wound healing suggests its clinical effectiveness in diabetic foot wound infections. Thirty infected diabetic foot wounds were randomly selected from patients presenting to Surgery Department, Suez Canal University Hospital, Ismailia, Egypt. Honey dressing was applied to wounds for 3 months till healing, grafting or failure of treatment. Changes in grade and stage of wounds, using University of Texas Diabetic Wound Classification, as well as surface area were recorded weekly. Bacterial load was determined before and after honey dressing. Complete healing was significantly achieved in 43.3% of ulcers. Decrease in size and healthy granulation was significantly observed in another 43.3% of patients. Bacterial load of all ulcers was significantly reduced after the first week of honey dressing. Failure of treatment was observed in 6.7% of ulcers. This study proves that commercial clover honey is a clinical and cost-effective dressing for diabetic wound in developing countries. It is omnipresence and concordance with cultural beliefs makes it a typical environmentally based method for treating these conditions.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Diabetic Foot / therapy*
  • Female
  • Honey*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged