Ascorbic acid for the healing of skin wounds in rats

Braz J Biol. 2009 Nov;69(4):1195-201. doi: 10.1590/s1519-69842009000500026.


Background: Healing is a complex process that involves cellular and biochemical events. Several medicines have been used in order to shorten healing time and avoid aesthetic damage.

Objective: to verify the topical effect of ascorbic acid for the healing of rats' skin wounds through the number of macrophages, new vessels and fibroblast verifications in the experimental period; and analyse the thickness and the collagen fibre organization in the injured tissue.

Methods: Male Rattus norvegicus weighing 270 +/- 30 g were used. After thionembutal anesthesia, 15 mm transversal incisions were made in the animals' cervical backs. They were divided into two groups: Control Group (CG, n = 12) - skin wound cleaned with water and soap daily; Treated Group (TG, n = 12) - skin wound cleaned daily and treated with ascorbic acid cream (10%). Samples of skin were collected on the 3rd, 7th and 14th days. The sections were stained with hematoxylin-eosin and picrosirius red for morphologic analysis. The images were obtained and analysed by a Digital Analyser System.

Results: The ascorbic acid acted on every stage of the healing process. It reduced the number of macrophages, increased the proliferation of fibroblasts and new vessels, and stimulated the synthesis of thicker and more organized collagen fibres in the wounds when compared to CG.

Conclusion: Ascorbic acid was shown to have anti-inflammatory and healing effects, guaranteeing a suiTable environment and conditions for faster skin repair.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Collagen / drug effects
  • Collagen / physiology
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / physiology
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / physiology
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*
  • Wound Healing / physiology


  • Antioxidants
  • Collagen
  • Ascorbic Acid