New Zealand Honey Co. endeavours to use only the most credible scientific research and up-to-date studies. This being said, please consult a professional before using any non-medical treatments for personal use and medical purposes - even natural ones.
Honey has been referenced as a medicinal substance in some of the world’s oldest medical books. Manuka Honey, in particular, has stood out from the crowd for some time for its believed superior antibacterial properties.
This has made both scientists and the public alike curious about its potential in wound healing.
But what does the evidence say? Could Manuka Honey really be a natural answer to managing and minimising scars? Let’s take a closer look.
What Causes Scars?
Scars are formed when our bodies are healing themselves. Scar tissue is produced to repair the damage caused by physical trauma, reconnecting and regenerating cells.
Our skin goes through different phases as it scars and heals itself:
It begins with inflammation, which involves blood clotting and the mobilisation of cells called macrophages. These cells move in to clear out the damaged tissue and get rid of any threatening bacteria.
The second phase of healing involves increased vascularity, which is the body’s way of surrounding the traumatised area with extra nutrition and protection.
- The third phase consists of an increase in the production of fibroblasts and collagen, the connective cells which strengthen the weakened bonds.
- The final stage of scar formation is the maturation of collagen. The type 3 collagen synthesised in the previous stages is replaced by type 1, the stronger of them which is more prevalent in healthy skin.
When properly looked after, wounds can recover to become up to 80% as healthy as they would originally have been. Whilst we can’t achieve 100%, we can aid in our own healing and help our skin in its incredible natural processes.
What Does Science Say About Manuka Honey for Scars?
Can Manuka Honey heal scars?
As we have seen above, scars need a few things to form healthily through each phase, which our bodies can usually provide naturally.
“...evidence shows that honey, particularly Manuka honey, eliminates bacteria, resolves chronic inflammation, and promotes faster wound healing.
As such, honey is a valuable addition to many tissue engineering templates in eliminating bacterial infection, aiding in inflammation resolution, and improving tissue integration...”
Manuka Honey for boosting and maintaining hydration
Manuka Honey has especially unique properties
Why is Manuka Honey particularly famous? It comes down to its unique antibacterial properties. These properties are so unique in fact, that the UMF grading system was introduced to measure just how concentrated these levels were in Manuka Honey.
This system ensures that consumers know that they are buying authentic Manuka Honey, and just how potent the level of antibacterial activity is in that particular product. Our range goes from UMF™ 5+ | MGO 83+ up to the highest on the market, UMF™ 26+ | MGO 1282+. Shop the range here.
Wounds need to stay clear of bacteria and microbes to regenerate healthy cells and fend off infection. Manuka Honey may present a natural opportunity to help in this renewal process. Its natural sugars have an osmotic effect, drawing out water from swelling which keeps it down, and from bacterial cells, preventing them from multiplying.
Manuka Honey and chronic inflammation
Studies have found Manuka Honey to be effective in reducing inflammation by balancing pH levels, debriding wounds and promoting the natural processes of fibroblast infiltration and collagen production.
It has even become a valuable tool in tissue engineering and regeneration.
Manuka Honey for burn scars
Burns can vary in severity from first to fourth-degree. The terms “first-”, “second-”, “third-”, and “fourth-degree” refer to the depth of the damaged layers of skin.
First-degree burns are usually treatable at home. These are minor, outer layer injuries. Second-degree burns may require medical attention, whilst third- and fourth-degree certainly will along with specialised follow-up care.
A burn injury ultimately requires the same healing process as a non-burn injury. Cells flood the area to clean and hydrate it, rebuilding healthy tissues and strengthening the new bonds.
Skin needs to be hydrated, protected from infection and kept sterile, all things that, as evidence suggests are important.
Always consult a doctor before using any treatment on burns, especially the more severe types.
Manuka Honey on acne scars
In our blog on the best Manuka Honey for your acne, we talk about how Manuka Honey could be used with acne.
Acne is a type of inflammation, so the skin requires the same necessary treatment as detailed above. Plenty of hydration (which also prevents itching, and the temptation to make scars worse), and surface clear of nasties and contaminants with balanced pH levels, which can all lead to a reduction in redness - something many people want to achieve when treating their acne.
How Can You Use Manuka Honey?
How exactly can we use it?
The most popular method is a simple topical treatment. Clean your hands and the area, and apply your honey directly to the scar itself.
One way to make this easier and keep mess to a minimum is by applying honey to a dressing first, and wrapping this around the affected area. Tip: an occlusive dressing works best so the honey doesn’t seep out!
You can leave the honey on for as long as you like, changing the dressing as necessary.
Manuka Honey mask for acne scars
Masks are a great way not just to administer a topical natural treatment, but to really indulge and create a relaxing experience for yourself!
Try our all-natural Manuka Honey and turmeric face mask here, or our super simple, 3-step Manuka Honey mask recipe here.
Top Grade Manuka Honey for Your Skin
Honey has become the third most-faked food in the world.
With so many imposters on the market claiming to offer the same potential health benefits as real Manuka Honey, we needed a system to measure both authenticity and antibacterial activity.
The Unique Manuka Factor grading system was introduced to solve these problems. Consumers now have visibility over exactly what they are buying, with the reassurance that it is the real deal.
All of our honeys are independently tested, so you can trust that you have the best available honey on the market.
How to pick the best Manuka Honey for scars
As we have explored above, scars need tons of moisture, protection from bacteria, and increased collagen production to heal optimally. Evidence suggests that Manuka Honey may be able to provide all of these things.
The key to healing scars is effective action as early as possible, so we recommend the highest grade honey available - the Manuka Honey with the greatest concentration of antibacterial activity. If budget is a factor it is considered that a UMF 10+ or higher is popular for topical use.
We produce the highest grade available, our UMF™ 26+ | MGO 1282+, available here.
Not only does this honey have fantastic potential for your scars and wounds, but for your skin and health in general.
So, try it for yourself today and start your Manuka Honey journey with us.
Check out our decadent Manuka Honey recipes here.