This clinical observation investigated the efficacy, cost-effectiveness, and acceptability of natural honey on the healing of a variety of chronic foot ulcers at the primary care level.
Materials and methods: A total of 12 patients with foot ulcers utilizing natural honey as an effective alternative to more expensive, advanced wound products were followed. Cases were referred to Umgwailinah Primary Health Care Center, Doha, Qatar from different health centers and from Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar. There were also self-referred cases. After rinsing the site with normal saline, natural honey was applied and the wound was covered by glycerin-impregnated gauze (Adaptic Non-Adhering Dressing, Systagenix, San Antonio, TX) to prevent the absorption of honey into the cotton gauze and away from the wound site. Patients were followed on a daily basis for an average of 4 weeks.
Results: All ulcers healed with no contractures or scars with a mean healing time of 3 weeks. There was a 75% reduction in the dressing budget of the health center and a high level of satisfaction among both health professionals and patients. Patients' pain levels were reduced significantly after using natural honey, as evidenced by the use of the Visual Analog Scale.
Conclusion: The use of natural honey in the management of chronic foot ulcers proved to be efficacious, cost-effective, and acceptable by both clinicians and patients.