Background: Managing the donor site after harvesting a skin graft is a chief issue. There are various dressings available for the management of donor sites but there has not been a widely accepted method for these partial thickness grafts. Honey has been found to be useful in the treatment of wounds like burns for thousands of years, but only in recent times that a scientific explanation is available for its effectiveness. Split-thickness skin graft donor sites are comparable to partial thickness burn wounds.
Methods: In this study, the effect of honey on skin graft donor sites has been evaluated. 50 patients have undergone skin grafting for various reasons have been randomized into two groups of 25 each in honey-treated group and Vaseline gauze-treated group. In the group A, who were treated with honey, 85% of the patients had nil or only moderate pain, whereas in the group B, who were treated with Vaseline gauze, 80 % had nil or mild pain. On examining the donor site on the 7th day, epithelialization has occurred in 48 patients as compared to 39 in group B. By the 10th day, all the wounds healed in group A who were treated with honey, whereas 66 % of wounds healed in Vaseline gauze-treated group. At 1-month follow-up, the results were comparable in both groups, with regard to patient satisfaction.
Conclusion: Honey-impregnated gauze reduces pain and heals donor sites wounds quicker with better cosmetic result.