Manuka Honey and Eczema - What to Look for When Buying

Honey and specifically manuka honey has been used since ancient times for medicinal reasons. In more recent times here have been studies showing the actual benefits of manuka honey for wound healing because of antimicrobial and antioxidant biological properties. Why is this important for people with eczema? All of us have some staph bacteria on our skin. Unfortunately, people with eczema have more staph bacteria on their skin which can trigger painful flares. People with eczema also have a more compromised skin barrier needing more moisture/barrier protection to keep it healthy. Therefore, regularly using a good moisturizer or  emollient is crucial to keeping eczema under control.

Steroid cream is usually prescribed as the first line of defense for eczema and when staph is involved, but there can be side effects from misuse and some people are just plain afraid to use steroids. Enter manuka honey which can moisturize and keep bacteria at bay potentially without the side effects of steroids. Manuka honey is sold as pure manuka honey or it is included in creams. One of the antibacterial components in manuka honey is methylglyoxal (MG) which comes from the conversion of a compound found in the nectar of manuka flowers. High quality, medicinal manuka honey has a higher concentration of (MG) and other healing compounds. 

Not all manuka honey or creams containing manuka honey have enough of the beneficial compounds. To be sure you’re getting a quality product, look for manuka honey with a minimum rating of 10+ UMF (unique manuka factor). In New Zealand where the flowering manuka plant grows, honey producers have developed a UMF scale for rating the potency of the beneficial compounds found in honey such as (MG). Look for the UMF logo and the UMF license number from the original UMF company that supplies the manuka honey. When choosing a cream with manuka honey look for one without a lot of additives and preservatives and a high UMF rating. Below are a couple examples of quality manuka honey and manuka honey cream. Of course always test a new product on a small area of skin to test for allergies. People with allergies to bees should could be allergic to all honey including manuka honey.  Please speak with your physician if you have questions. 

  • Cream: reNeu Manuka Honey Cream Soothing Moisturizer Skin Care with Active Manuka Honey and Aloe Vera.
  • Honey: Comvita Certified UMF 15+ (Super Premium) Manuka Honey I New Zealand's #1 Manuka Brand I Non-GMO, Halal, and Kosher Certified 


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Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC31146...

http://www.umf.org.nz/grading-system-explained/

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/manuka-honey-medicinal-uses#1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28234328

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15022655

http://www.gaiahealthblog.com/2013/12/22/the-manuka-project/

Please remember information on our blog is not designed or meant to replace a physician’s advice. Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions. AD RescueWear does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.