Influence of pH on wound-healing: a new perspective for wound-therapy?

Arch Dermatol Res. 2007 Feb;298(9):413-20. doi: 10.1007/s00403-006-0713-x. Epub 2006 Nov 8.


Wound healing is a complex regeneration process, which is characterised by intercalating degradation and re-assembly of connective tissue and epidermal layer. The pH value within the wound-milieu influences indirectly and directly all biochemical reactions taking place in this process of healing. Interestingly it is so far a neglected parameter for the overall outcome. For more than three decades the common assumption amongst physicians was that a low pH value, such as it is found on normal skin, is favourable for wound healing. However, investigations have shown that in fact some healing processes such as the take-rate of skin-grafts require an alkaline milieu. The matter is thus much more complicated than it was assumed. This review article summarises the existing literature dealing with the topic of pH value within the wound-milieu, its influence on wound healing and critically discusses the currently existing data in this field. The conclusion to be drawn at present is that the wound pH indeed proves to be a potent influential factor for the healing process and that different pH ranges are required for certain distinct phases of wound healing. Further systematic data needs to be collected for a better understanding of the pH requirements under specific circumstances. This is important as it will help to develop new pH targeted therapeutic strategies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Debridement
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Skin / physiopathology
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena
  • Skin Transplantation / physiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing / physiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*