Payments & Safety

Yes. In a pilot study it was found to be well tolerated and most patients reported an improvement. In a large study of 137 people presented at the American Academy of Dermatology meeting in 2015, and published in the British Medical Journal Open, 65% of people had an improvement with Honevo, 34% had a large improvement and in 13% the disease disappeared completely. The results were statistically and clinically significant and at least as good, if not better, than those that have been achieved for standard prescription-only treatments such as topical metronidazole.

In the study, improvements were seen within 2 weeks and had increased when the study ended at 8 weeks.

Honevo® should be used until symptoms have disappeared, and restarted if symptoms reappear.

In around 1 in 8 participants in the study, the condition completed disappeared. However, participants were only followed for 8 weeks and so we do not know if/when symptoms reappeared.

The Honevo® study was vs. placebo, not antibiotics, so it is not possible to state this definitively. But when we compare how both treatments perform vs. placebo in controlled studies, Honevo® has better results. In addition, as well as potentially causing side effects, long-term antibiotics can contribute to antibiotic resistance, which the World Health Organization has declared to be a threat to global health security.

There are 3 main reasons:

• All honeys have different properties, and only the Honevo® formulation has been shown in clinical research to be an effective treatment for facial redness.

• Honevo® is medical-grade (see below for why this is important).

• Honevo® contains a small amount of another natural product, glycerine, which improves its physical characteristics, making it less sticky than regular honey. It is also far more temperature stable and remains consistently fluid when warm or cold.

The study was undertaken independently by the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, who are based in Wellington and led by Professor Richard Beasley. Patients on the studies were seen by MRINZ staff, but mostly by General Practitioners in Tauranga and Auckland. In addition, the study protocol was peer-reviewed by a New Zealand dermatologist and also the world-famous Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, USA.

The research was funded by HoneyLab, with support from Callaghan Innovation.

Honey is classified according to its floral source and it can either be monofloral, if it is made predominantly from the nectar of one type of flower, or polyfloral. Honevo® is created from kanuka honey which is sourced from hives that are located in dense kanuka plantations.

All honeys have different properties. We use kanuka as we found that it has very high antibacterial activity compared to other honeys. Kanuka honey also has anti-inflammatory properties whereas manuka and others do not.

Honey has a number of physicochemical characteristics which give it unique properties that are responsible for its effectiveness in treating some medical conditions:

•  Osmotic effect – honey is a concentrated sugar solution predominantly consisting of fructose and glucose. Few water molecules are available for micro-organisms and therefore it is a poor environment for their growth.

• Hydrogen peroxide – this is slowly released when the honey comes into contact with body fluids and has antiseptic properties.Acidity – honey is very acidic and with a pH of 3.2 to 4.5, as acidic as some vinegars, which also makes micro-organism growth difficult.

• Antioxidants – it contains bioflavonoids and other antioxidants which may contribute to its activity.

Honey applied to the skin should be “medical-grade”, also known as “pharmaceutical-grade”. Application of untreated or raw honey often causes local inflammation which can be quite severe, as it often contains many impurities from bees and hives; it literally contains “bees’ knees”. Pharmaceutical-grade honey is made by purifying and sterilizing raw honey in a two-step process involving super-filtration and pasteurization.

A 50ml tube will last for several weeks, depending on the extent of the facial redness.