OBJECTIVE: To determine the therapeutic effects of honey versus silver sulphadiazine 1% in
the management of burn injuries, in our set up.
DESIGN: A quasi-experimental study.
SETTING: Burns emergency unit, department of Plastic Surgery Liaquat University Hospital,
Hyderabad - Sindh form January 2002 to December 2003.
METHODS: Eighty patients having age range of 4 to 62 years with burn involving 10% to 40%
body surface area were studied. Patients presenting with chemical or electric burn, and those
with full thickness burn were excluded. Majority of cases was males. Patients were divided in
two groups. One group received treatment with honey while other received silver sulphadiazine.
Honey used was natural and unprocessed.
RESULTS: Patients treated with honey showed rapid wound healing with no apparent local or
systemic side effects. Mean duration of healing in honey treated group was 15.3 days. While in
other group, mean was 20 days. Patients treated with honey did not develop growth of any
pathogenic organism. However, 32(80%) patients treated with silver sulphadiazine showed
growth of different pathogenic organisms necessitating the use of systemic antibiotic therapy
accordingly. In honey group, only 3(7.5%) patients developed contracture as compared to
7(17.5%) patients treated with silver sulphadiazine. After complete healing, itching/pruritus was
complained by 13(32.5%) patients treated with silver sulphadiazine while only 2(5%) patients
complained so treated with honey.
CONCLUSION: The burn wounds are healed rapidly by using honey with minimum scarring and
pigmentation as compared to silver sulphadiazine. Use of honey in these patients can be cost
effective in terms of treatment and hospital stay. However, to develop more confidence with the
use of honey in burn wound management, more studies with larger sample size are needed.
Burn. Honey. Silver Sulphadiazine. Management. Pakistan.