Honey ointment heals stubborn wounds
PAOLI, PA.; Sept. 15, 2013 -- An old medical remedy is finding new fans. Doctors are re-discovering the power of honey.
Karyn Erickson of Malvern, Pennsylvania, admits she's very accident-prone.
"Running into things, falling off bikes. Sometimes, things running into me," she says with a chuckle.
These days, those cuts & scrapes heal more slowly these days because her skin is thinner, and her blood circulation isn't as good.
To jump-start hard-to-heal injuries, wound specialist Dr. Rebecca Witham of Paoli Memorial Hospital uses an ointment called Medihoney.
It's made from manuka honey, a special type that's been used in folk remedies for centuries.
In recent years, physicians like Dr. Witham are re-discovering its powers. for one thing, it is a natural antibiotic.
"It really does improve healing time, because it helps us get rid of the bacteria on the surface of the wound. It helps us get rid of edema, or swelling in the wound itself," she told Action News.
Dr. Witham also says the ointment doesn't cause the allergic reactions she often sees with antibiotic creams.
"Instead of getting smaller, their wound is getting bigger and bigger," she says.
"Patients think it's an infection in the wound. It's not. It's a reaction to the cream," she adds.
Karyn likes Medihoney so much she keeps some at home for smaller injuries.
" As soon as I get any wound, I put it on myself," she says.
Some pharmacies carry Medihoney. Others have to order the ointment.
Dr. Witham says whatever treatment you choose, wounds heal faster when they are kept clean & covered ALL the time.
"Open air doesn't help an injury heal," she says.
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