Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of topical curcumin on the healing of skin wounds produced by the CO(2) laser in an animal model.
Methods: A prospective, randomized study was made of 90 mice assigned to three groups (30 animals per group), with the creation of 6-mm incisions in the skin of the dorsal region by means of the CO(2) laser. A total of 270 wounds were made (3 wounds by animal). No product was applied to the resulting wound in group I (control group); vehicle was applied in group II (5 mg/day by wound); and topical curcumin was applied to the mice in group III (5 mg/day by wound). Re-epithelialization and inflammation of the wounds were measured from histological sections of wounds, after 2, 7, and 14 days.
Results: Two days after production of the wounds, most of the latter showed incomplete re-epithelialization. After 7 days, 73.33% of the wounds treated with curcumin presented re-epithelialization covering the entire wound, with irregular thickness; nevertheless, only 37.50% of the wounds in control group and 41.67% in the vehicle group showed this degree ot re-epithelialization. After 14 days, all the wounds had completed re-epithelization. No significant differences were observed regarding resolution of the inflammatory process in any of the study groups after 2, 7, and 14 days.
Conclusions: This study shows that topical curcumin applied to CO(2) laser-induced skin wounds may be useful, because improved re-epithelialization is observed after 7 days.