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Cutaneous wounds inevitably heal with scars, which can be disfiguring and compromise function. In general, the greater the insult, the worse the scarring, although genetic make up, regional variations and age can influence the final result. Excessive scarring manifests as hypertrophic and keloid scars. At the other end of the spectrum are poorly healing chronic wounds, such as foot ulcers in diabetic patients and pressure sores. Current therapies to minimize scarring and accelerate wound healing rely on the optimization of systemic conditions, early wound coverage and closure of lacerations, and surgical incisions with minimal trauma to the surrounding skin. The possible benefits of topical therapies have also been assessed. Further major improvements in wound healing and scarring require an understanding of the molecular basis of this process. Promising strategies for modulating healing include the local administration of platelet derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB to accelerate the healing of chronic ulcers, and increasing the relative ratio of transforming growth factor (TGF)beta-3 to TGFbeta-1 and TGFbeta-2 in order to minimize scarring.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





363 - 381


Animals, Cicatrix, Humans, Skin, Wound Healing, Wounds, Penetrating