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A Sweet Skincare Solution: Can Manuka Honey Treat Eczema?

A Sweet Skincare Solution: Can Manuka Honey Treat Eczema?

Dealing with itchy, dry skin can quickly drive you to distraction. For those dealt the unlucky hand of chronic eczema, seeking relief from the itch is all-consuming.

One remedy—manuka honey—is gaining attention. Proponents claim it cuts through the itch and brings your skin back to baseline faster. But does manuka honey for eczema work?

Let’s look at the facts, starting with the details about eczema.

What is Eczema?

Seven distinct types of eczema exist, each of which results from inflammation triggered by the immune system when it overreacts to an irritant.

While eczema symptoms can vary by individual, they often include the following:  

  • Skin so itchy you might scratch yourself to the point of bleeding
  • Inflamed, red patches on the skin
  • Rough, scaly patches that might ooze or crust

Most people first develop eczema in childhood, though the condition can persist for years. It’s not contagious, but researchers still don’t fully understand what causes it, and it can’t be cured. This means that the best treatment for eczema is to learn how to manage your symptoms during a flare-up.

While hundreds of skincare products exist that claim to combat the worst of the condition, many experts claim that manuka honey is a highly effective remedy for restoring your skin.  

What is Manuka Honey?

This natural sweetener hails from Australia and New Zealand, where it’s made by honeybees that collect pollen from the manuka bush. This gives it darker coloring and a distinctive, almost medicinal, taste compared to regular honey.

All forms of honey are prized for their antibacterial properties, and honey has long been used as a natural burn remedy. However, manuka honey is considered a superstar version, with some calling it 100 times more potent than standard varieties.

That’s due in part to the honey’s higher concentration of methylglyoxal (MGO), which is associated with stronger antibiotic effects. This makes it useful as a topical treatment for various skin conditions, including eczema.

Not all manuka honey is the same, however. Each batch is rated by UMF (Unique Manuka Factor), where larger numbers indicate a higher concentration of MGO, and consequently, more robust antibacterial benefits.

Additionally, manuka honey is a thick emollient that works to keep the skin hydrated by trapping moisture within it. This helps it combat the effects of eczema, which makes the skin more prone to drying out and puts it at a higher risk of infection due to bacterial contamination.  

Science of Manuka Honey and Eczema

Using honey to soothe itchy skin sounds far-fetched, but scientific evidence supports it.

A 2017 study of adults with atopic dermatitis (a common form of eczema) reported that those who treated their skin with manuka honey for seven days had smaller lesions and significant symptom relief with zero side effects.

Other research has collaborated these findings, and the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database lists honey as “possibly effective” for treating wounds and other skin disorders.

While more research is needed to substantiate these findings, the facts show that manuka honey may be an effective treatment for finding relief from itchy skin.

How to Use Manuka Honey for Eczema

Don’t think you need to slather a sticky layer of honey on your skin to experience these benefits.

A better option is to use a skincare product with manuka honey as an active ingredient, such as the Peony Root & Manuka Honey Skin Remedy by Purepeony. It contains medical-grade UMF 15+ manuka honey and other skin-nourishing ingredients like peony root, which is used in traditional Chinese remedies for autoimmune disorders.

When you have an eczema flare-up, dab some manuka honey cream daily onto the inflammation site, and you should start experiencing symptom relief within days. Thanks to its antibacterial properties, you can also use creams with manuka honey to soothe skin irritated by sunburn, insect bites, diaper rash, blisters from gardening, and more. Some even find success using it on acne blemishes.

Try Manuka Honey for Eczema Today

While manuka honey may not fully eradicate your chronic eczema, the evidence shows it can be an effective way to get your symptoms under control and improve your skin’s health over time.  

So long as you invest in a high-quality brand with certified medical-grade manuka honey levels, there’s no downside (and a lot to gain) from trying this natural remedy out for yourself.