Background: Honey has the antibacterial effect of silver without the toxic effect of silver on the skin. Even so, silver is the dominant antibacterial dressing used in wound healing.
Objectives: To evaluate the healing effects of honey dressings compared to silver dressings for acute or chronic wounds.
Design: A systematic review with meta-analysis.
Method: The search, conducted in seven databases, resulted in six randomised controlled trial studies from South Asia focusing on antibacterial properties and healing times of honey and silver.
Result: Honey was more efficacious for wound healing than silver, as measured in the number of days needed for wounds to heal (pooled risk difference -20, 95% CI -0.29 to -0.11, p < .001). Honey turned out to have more antibacterial qualities than silver.
Conclusion: All the included studies based on burns showed the unequivocal result that honey had an even more positive effect than silver on wound healing.
Keywords: antibacterial dressing; burns; honey; silver; wound healing.