Local application of honey for treatment of neonatal postoperative wound infection


A Barzilai, Paediatric Infectious Disease Unit, The Chaim Sheba Medical Centre, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Hashomer 52621, Israel


Honey has been described in ancient and modern medicine as being effective in the healing of various infected wounds. In this report we present our experience in nine infants with large, open, infected wounds that failed to heal with conventional treatment. Conventional treatment was defined as having failed if after ≥14 d of intravenous antibiotic and cleaning the wound with chlorhexidine 0.05% W/V in aqueous solution and fusidic acid ointment the wound was still open, oozing pus, and swab cultures were positive. All infants showed marked clinical improvement after 5d of treatment with topical application of 5–10 ml of fresh unprocessed honey twice daily. The wounds were closed, clean and sterile in all infants after 21 d of honey application. There were no adverse reactions to the treatment. We conclude that honey is useful in the treatment of post-surgical wounds that are infected and do not respond to conventional systemic and local antibiotic treatment.