Effect of Manuka Honey on Eyelid Wound Healing: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. Jul/Aug 2017;33(4):268-272. doi: 10.1097/IOP.0000000000000743.


Purpose: To report outcomes of a randomized trial on the role of "active" Manuka honey on eyelid surgical wound healing.

Method: Prospective, randomized, single-blinded study was performed for patients undergoing bilateral upper blepharoplasty. Vaseline was applied 4 times a day to both sides for 6 weeks and in addition, one eyelid was randomized to receive Manuka honey twice daily. Postoperative wounds were graded by a masked observer at 1 week, 1 month, and 4 months using Manchester scar scale and a modified eyelid scar grading scale. Patients scored symptoms, expressed preferred side, and of any problems they experienced using honey. Standard photographs were graded by 2 independent assessors.

Results: Fifty-five patients were randomized. One week after surgery, 46 (29 women, 17 men, mean age 68 years, median 69, range 49-85) were available for analysis. There was a trend toward distortion of the surrounding skin being less (1.6 vs. 1.8, p = 0.07) and the scar being less palpable (1.8 vs. 2.0, p = 0.08) on the Manuka-treated side. Patients reported the scar on the Manuka side to have less stiffness (1.3 vs. 1.6, p = 0.058). At 1 month, all 3 grading scales showed no difference between the 2 sides. At 4 months, scar grading scales showed no differences; however, patients reported scar pain to be significantly less on the Manuka-treated side than control (0.48 vs. 1.9, p = 0.005). Thirty-one of 46 patients believed the scars were similar on both sides, 11 preferred the honey-treated side, and 4 preferred the control.

Conclusion: Upper eyelid scars treated with or without Manuka honey heal well, without significant difference when assessed by validated scar grading scales; however, honey may provide subjective benefits early, postoperatively.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blepharoplasty / methods*
  • Blepharoptosis / surgery*
  • Eyelids / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Honey*
  • Humans
  • Leptospermum*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Care / methods*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Prospective Studies
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*