Treatment of Recurrent Eczematous External Otitis with Honey Eardrops: A Proof-of-Concept Study

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Eczematous external otitis is a chronic inflammatory disease and often difficult to treat. Our objective was to investigate the clinical effect and in vitro antibacterial potential of medical honey eardrops as treatment of eczematous external otitis. In a prospective study, 15 patients diagnosed with recurrent eczematous external otitis were treated with medical honey eardrops for 2 weeks. The following clinical outcomes were evaluated: visual analog scale of ear complaints, score of eczema, and eradication of bacterial infection. Furthermore, the antibacterial effect of honey eardrops against different bacterial strains was tested in vitro. Treatment resulted in less discomfort and itching and decreased signs of eczema, with high patient satisfaction and without adverse reactions. Honey eardrops showed a strong in vitro inhibitory activity against all tested strains but did not eradicate Staphylococcus aureus infection in vivo. The results of this preliminary study indicate a possible role of honey eardrops in eczematous ear disease.

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