News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Honey Product is Proven to Help Rosacea Sufferers

News Release: Wednesday, 1 April 2015

New Zealand Honey Product is Proven to Help Rosacea Sufferers

Large clinical trial shows that a kanuka honey formulation is as good as prescription medicines

There is new hope for the 5-10% of adults who suffer from rosacea in the form of a medicalkanuka honey formulation from New Zealand.

A large clinical trial has proved that Honevo, a medical-grade kanuka honey formulation, developed by New Zealand company HoneyLab, is an effective and safe treatment for rosacea. The clinical trial was undertaken by the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand and was partly funded by a grant from Callaghan Innovation.

The clinical trial results were recently presented at the American Academy of Dermatology meeting in San Francisco by HoneyLab Science Director Dr Shaun Holt [1S Holt, I Braithwaite, A Hunt, J Riley, M Holliday, R Beasley. A topical kanuka honey formulation is an effective treatment for rosacea. Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology 2015, 21 March 2015. Poster 871]. The clinical trial showed that 65% of triallists showed an improvement in their rosacea using Honevo, 34% had a large improvement and in 13% the disease 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,” he says.

Rosacea is a chronic red rash on the face, particularly on the cheeks and nose. Long-term antibiotics are the standard treatment. However, antibiotics can not only potentially cause side effects, but they also contribute to antibiotic resistance, which the World Health Organization has declared to be a threat to global health security.

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. 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-pendingkanuka honey formulation contains a small amount of another natural product which improves its physical characteristics which makes it less sticky than regular honey. It’s also far more temperature stable and does not get too runny when hot nor too hard when it’s cold.

HoneyLab is a New Zealand pharmaceutical company with several platforms of clinical research, including dermatology, pain, and nutrition. The company plans to licence products to pharmaceutical companies once effectiveness and safety have been proven. HoneyLab is already in discussions with several of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies. 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.

People with rosacea who want to try Honevo Rosacea can order it at

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Roddy Doyle's Grim and Gritty Rosie

Although it was completed over two years ago, Roddy Doyle's first original screenplay in over eighteen years has only just arrived in New Zealand. It's been well worth the wait. More>>

Howard Davis: Naming Names - The Personal History of David Copperfield

Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Armando Iannucci has re-imagined Charles Dickens’ tribute to grit and perseverance through the comedic lens of colour-blind casting, giving the narrative new life for a woke age. More>>