Tried and Tested Skincare Products
Apicare Manuka Therapy 30% Honey Cream<p> </p>
When we receive feedback on shortlisted products in the FreeFrom Skincare Awards from our Beauty Bible testers, quite often we find that the testers have included some opinions from family members who have stumbled across the products in the communal bathroom and also tried them. However, no such case has been quite as dramatic as this one, from this year, from one of our most dedicated testers and her husband, who we shall call Janet and James. We’ll let Janet relate what happened in her own words:
“James has very recently undergone a course of gruelling radiotherapy to his face and neck, having being diagnosed with parotid cancer, which resulted in major surgery earlier this year.
“Two weeks ago he finished the radiotherapy which was a six-week regime of treatment, five days a week, followed by two rest days. At the end of his treatment his neck and right side of his face were a real mess – which is normal for this kind of intensive treatment. His face looked like he was an acid attack victim. His skin was peeling, weeping, had open sores which bled and this extended down his neck and right shoulder.
“James’ whole cheek and neck with Flamazine”
“Initially we used a cream prescribed by the hospital – Flamazine – which contains silver sulfadiazine. The cream is used to treat burns victims and acts as an antibacterial topical ointment. Although it undoubtedly helped to some extent with the healing process, it has the unfortunate effect of turning the neck black.
“It also tended to draw the wounds and we found that we were in a vicious cycle of the wound crusting over, then once this fell off, the wound would weep, more Flamazine, and after more than a week of this we found that his neck and face were still very red, with oozing sores which were very painful.
“Scabbing – which looks as though it is healing – but the application of Flamazine restarts the whole process”
“After about 10 days of following doctor’s orders and just using Flamazine, unknown to me, James went rooting through the bathroom cabinet and found the Apicare Manuka Therapy 30% Honey Cream I had recently tested for the FreeFrom Skincare Awards. He tried it, initially on the parts of his face and neck which were dry and crusting rather than the actual open wound area but found that within a matter of hours his skin felt 100% better – it looked so moisturised and took all of the redness away.
“Although still very red and painful, here is the skin on the cheek treated with Manuka Cream, and then the neck area still being treated with Flamazine”
“The Cream seemed to help the skin heal and stopped the vicious circle of the wound weeping. We then gradually progressed to using it across the whole of the neck. Although we had to be very careful, we did use it where the skin was broken and bleeding and it did not irritate and seemed to help the healing process. So he started to experiment a little more and found that he could even bear it on the open wound area too and that rather than making it weep further as the Flamazine had done, it soothed and helped it to heal.
“We went to the hospital yesterday and the oncology specialist was amazed that his skin had healed so quickly given the extensive damage caused by the radiotherapy. We then admitted that we had ditched the Flamazine in favour of the Manuka honey cream and showed her the tube we had been using. Perhaps unsurprisingly she didn't do cartwheels and claim it as a wonder cure – her words were “Hmm, you do like your alternative therapies don’t you!”
“James has already ordered a second tube of Manuka Honey creme. He swears by it and I'm convinced his skin would not have healed so well and so quickly if he had just stuck to the hospital's prescribed ointment.”
“James’ neck and cheek after around six weeks”
A month after Janet initially emailed us, she gave us an update:
“James continues to make good progress. His neck and face tissue (externally) have healed very well indeed. Internally he still suffers from mouth and throat ulcers which we have been told will take some time to settle down. Long term the cancer prognosis is still unknown, with further visits to the oncologist and ENT consultant planned over the next few weeks and months. He still uses the Manuka Cream occasionally when he feels his skin tightening. He finds everyday use now makes the skin overly greasy and he flips between aloe vera gel, Manuka Cream, and E45. Incidentally, we took the Cream on holiday with us, and whilst in Corfu my 21 year old daughter received a couple of nasty insect bites on her ankle which became very swollen and angry. James insisted she put a dab of Manuka Cream on the bite and it took away a lot of the itching and swelling, so it seems to have a multitude of uses!”
A remarkable account, we’re sure you all agree. We wish James continued good health and thank Janet for taking the time to share the couple’s story with our readers.