Manuka Honey Acne Treatment | Does it Work?

Acne or pimples, zits, spots or blemishes are an infection of the skin. (very simplistically explained) Dermal oils, called sebum, and dead skin cells block the pores and hair follicles thus allowing bacteria to thrive. Sometimes, not in all cases, inflammation will occur which results in red pimples.

Research shows Manuka honey is extremely effective in treating all kinds of skin conditions. But can its high antibacterial activity treat acne effectively? First let's take a look at what science can tell us about the efficacy of a Manuka honey acne treatment. As far as I know there haven't been done any studies or clinical trials on the topical use of (Manuka) honey on Acne vulgaris. Scientists are, however, interested in its possible action. The fact that the Waikato Honey Research Unit mentions one of its current research interests, "Trials of honey to treat acne", on their website illustrates this.

What do acne sufferers say? When we take a look at the acne.org forums we'll read many positive experiences. Reoccurring remarks in the threads are 'makes skin softer, brighter and takes away redness'. So it seems to help (some) people treating their acne. No hard proof here, just an indication it might work.

Another indication has to do with the fact that Manuka honey comes from bees who gather nectar on the Tea Tree. There have been done studies on the topical use of 5% Tea Tree oil compared with topical application of 5% benzoyl, which is a commonly accepted acne treatment product. Conclusion of these studies: both reduced acne, however the tea tree oil action was slower but this could have been caused by not using an optimal concentration. Tea tree oil also showed less side effects than benzoyl peroxide. This is by far no evidence but it might be an (indirect) indication Manuka honey could work. Source: page 2 of Therapeutic Properties of Tea Trea Oils.

In case researchers are able to proof this treatment works there is also another advantage; (next to little to no side effects) Bacteria associated with acne are becoming resistant to treatment with certain antibiotics whereas Manuka honey does not.

2 comments:

Laureen said...

As what I have read, active manuka honey is not only effective at killing the excess bacteria that causes acne, it also has antioxidant properties that can keep the skin healthier and prevent wrinkles. baby eczema

jamie said...

I never heard of manuka honey as an acne treatment. Upon reading it, I've knew that it has tea tree oil. Tea tree oil as what I've read from other sources is claimed as a good treatment for acne.

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