The effects of honey compared to silver sulfadiazine for the treatment of burns: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials

Burns. 2017 Feb;43(1):50-57. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2016.07.004. Epub 2016 Aug 28.


Evidence from animal studies and trials suggests that honey may accelerate wound healing. The objective of this review was to assess the effects of honey compared with silver dressings on the healing of burn wounds. Relevant databases for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of honey compared with silver sulfadiazine (SSD) were searched. The quality of the selected trials was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Assessment Tool. The primary endpoints considered were wound healing time and the number of infected wounds rendered sterile. Nine RCTs met the inclusion criteria. Based on moderate quality evidence there was a statistically significant difference between the two groups, favoring honey in healing time (MD -5.76days, 95% CI -8.14 to -3.39) and the proportions of infected wounds rendered sterile (RR 2.59; 95% CI 1.58-2.88). The available evidence suggests that honey dressings promote better wound healing than silver sulfadiazine for burns.

Keywords: Burn; Dressing; Healing time; Honey; Meta-analysis; Silver sulfadiazine.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Bandages
  • Burns / therapy*
  • Honey*
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Silver Sulfadiazine / therapeutic use*
  • Wound Healing
  • Wound Infection / therapy*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Silver Sulfadiazine