Healing with Honey: A 94-Year-Old's Journey to Overcome Heel Ulcers

Products: L-Mesitran Soft, L-Mesitran Tulle
Case study performed by:  Georgios E. Papanikolaou, MD PhD, GP Plastic Surgery Private Practice, Ioannina, Greece.

A 94-year-old man had severe sores on both his heels, which developed due to prolonged immobility and uncontrolled diabetes. These sores were very deep, affecting the tissue under the skin, and were classified as stage III ulcers. Besides diabetes, he also suffered from depression, an enlarged prostate, past strokes, and low vitamin B12. The sores on his right heel measured 5 by 6 cm, and on his left heel, they were 7 by 7 cm. The sores were painful, smelly, oozing fluid, and not healing properly, with red and dead tissue.

Method: The initial treatment involved surgical debridement to remove the thick eschar, performed in two sessions at a two-week interval. Following debridement, L-Mesitran Soft and L-Mesitran Tulle, both medical-grade honey products were applied to the wounds. These were combined with a secondary foam dressing. The patient’s relatives performed daily wound dressings at home.

Results: Remarkable healing was observed over the course of the treatment. After 8 weeks, the wound bed was cleansed, infection symptoms disappeared, and new granulation tissue began to form. This allowed for a reduction in the frequency of dressing changes to every three days. By the 22nd week, complete wound healing was achieved without complications, significantly improving the patient’s quality of life.

Wound healing progression of the infected
heel pressure ulcers on both the right and left foot.

Tulle + Soft

Discussion: Heel pressure ulcers are common and serious, often worsened by infections. Medical-grade honey (MGH) is effective because it kills bacteria and promotes healing through its acidic nature, high sugar content, and hydrogen peroxide release. It also keeps wounds moist, helps remove dead tissue, and reduces inflammation. In this case, MGH significantly improved the patient’s ulcers, clearing infections and promoting new tissue growth within weeks, proving it a valuable alternative to traditional treatments.

Conclusion: This case highlights the clinical and cost-effective benefits of MGH-based products like L-Mesitran Soft and L-Mesitran Tulle in treating hard-to-heal pressure ulcers. These products not only offer an alternative or complement to antibiotics and surgery but also simplify home care, thereby enhancing the patient’s quality of life. The successful healing of this 94-year-old patient’s severe pressure ulcers underscores the potential of medical-grade honey in wound care, encouraging its broader application in similar high-risk cases.

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