New Zealand scientists find Kanuka honey to bee the cure for rosacea sufferers

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

New Zealand scientists find Kanuka honey to bee the cure for rosacea sufferers

Related tags Medicine Clinical trial

Scientists have discovered that New Zealand Kanuka honey in skin care gives new hope for the 5-10% of adults who suffer from rosacea, a chronic red facial rash where long-term antibiotics are the standard treatment.

The Medical Research Institute of New Zealand carried out the study​ for medical honey researcher, 'HoneyLab' which found 34 per cent of those that took part in the clinical trials to have seen a large improvement in their rosacea.

Meanwhile, 65 per cent that tried out the 'Honevo' formulation reported 'an improvement' while the disease 'disappeared completely' for 13%.

According to the researchers, 'Honevo' is applied as a mask twice a day and contains kanuka honey and a small amount of another natural product which improves its physical characteristics to achieve a less sticky substance.

Kanuka honey is 'effective at killing the micro-organisms that cause rosacea'

HoneyLab has several platforms of clinical research, including dermatology, and according to its science director Dr Shaun Holt; rosacea sufferers often seek natural treatments rather than prescription drugs, but there are very few of those that have successfully undergone rigorous clinical trials.

"Improvements were seen within two weeks and this had increased when the study ended after eight weeks. These results are statistically and clinically significant and at least as good, if not better, than those that have been achieved for standard prescription-only treatments," ​says Holt.

Furthermore, the science director says that recent developments in understanding the cause of rosacea have explained why the kanuka honey formulation is so effective. 

It’s now thought that the underlying causes of rosacea are mites and associated bacteria living deep in the skin in the affected area, and the rosacea symptoms are an inflammatory reaction to these," ​Dr. Holt explains.

Kanuka honey has been found to be effective at killing micro-organisms and reducing inflammation, thus the group of researchers believe including it in a skin care formulation "works so well​". 

Traditionally, treatments for the condition have been both oral and topical, and more recently with lasers. But this new discovery could help isolate any number of new treatments, which could also include over-the-counter topical products.

Related topics Formulation & Science Skin Care

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