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July 19, 2017

Honey May Help With Chronic Eczema of the Ear Canal

Image from Amazon. Please note that
this honey was NOT used in the study
described
There was an interesting paper from the Netherlands regarding treatment of chronic recurrent eczematous otitis externa (ear canal skin inflammation) with honey ear drops with good success in 15 patients. Although it did not cure the problem, it did improve symptoms without the use of "medications."

Eczematous otitis externa (which should NOT be confused with acute otitis externa or swimmer's ear) is characterized by scaly, itchy, and inflamed skin involving the outer ear and ear canal. Secondary bacterial infections are not uncommon. Standard treatment involves repeated use of steroids and antibiotics which do help temporarily, but ultimately causes problems over the long-term so alternative treatment options would be ideal.

Such alternative treatment that have been tried in past include vaseline, sweet oil, mineral oil, etc in an attempt to avoid steroids and antibiotics. Now honey may potentially be considered as well.

The honey that was used in this study was called "Otomel" and is a medical grade honey produced by BFactory Health Products in Rhenen, the Netherlands. As such, there is no information in what type of honey this is, where it is produced, how it is prepared, etc.

But if you can manage to get your hands on one, the study called for using it 3 times per day for 2 weeks.


Reference:
Treatment of Recurrent Eczematous External Otitis with Honey Eardrops: A Proof-of-Concept Study. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017 Jul 1:194599817718782. doi: 10.1177/0194599817718782. [Epub ahead of print]
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

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