A large clinical trial has proved that Honevo Rosacea, a medical-grade kanuka honey formulation developed by New Zealand company HoneyLab, is an effective and natural treatment for rosacea.
The trial was undertaken by the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand and results were recently presented at the American Academy of Dermatology meeting in San Francisco by HoneyLab Science Director Dr Shaun Holt.
The clinical trial showed that 65 percent of subjects showed an improvement in their rosacea using Honevo, 34 percent had a large improvement, and in 13 percent the condition disappeared completely.
Improvements were seen within two weeks and this had increased when the study ended after eight weeks.
‘These results are statistically and clinically significant and at least as good, if not better, than those that have been achieved for standard prescription-only treatments,’ says Dr Holt.
‘People with rosacea often seek natural treatments rather than prescription drugs, but there are very few natural products that have successfully undergone rigorous clinical trials.
‘This medical-grade kanuka honey formulation delivers the best of both worlds. It’s not only a natural and safe product, but it’s also one that is proven to be effective to the standards of a pharmaceutical medicine.’
Rosacea is a chronic red rash on the face, particularly on the cheeks and nose. Long-term antibiotics are the standard treatment.
However, antibiotics not only potentially cause side effects, but contribute to antibiotic resistance, which the World Health Organisation has declared to be a threat to global health security.
The current size of the rosacea market is estimated to be US$1.5 billion, but many people do not seek a treatment as a prescription from a doctor is usually required.
As the new kanuka honey treatment is available over the counter and not on prescription, the potential market is effectively twice as large and sits at around US$3 billion.
Dr Holt says that recent developments in the understanding of the cause of rosacea explained why the kanuka honey formulation was so effective.
‘It’s now thought that the underlying causes of rosacea are mites and associated bacteria living deep in the skin in the affected area, and the rosacea symptoms are an inflammatory reaction to these,’ he says.
‘As medical kanuka honey is effective at killing micro-organisms and reducing inflammation this is an excellent explanation as to why kanuka honey works so well.’
Honevo is applied as a mask twice a day and then easily washes off. This patent-pending kanuka honey formulation contains a small amount of another natural product which improves its physical characteristics, making it less sticky than regular honey.
It’s also far more temperature stable, not getting too runny when hot or too hard when cold.
HoneyLab is a New Zealand pharmaceutical company developing medicines from bees and their environment. It has several platforms of clinical research, including dermatology, pain, and nutrition.