The use of keratin-based wound products on refractory wounds

Int Wound J. 2016 Feb;13(1):110-5. doi: 10.1111/iwj.12245. Epub 2014 Feb 28.


Keratin proteins have been shown to play a key role in wound healing. Controlled keratin gene (KRT) expression promotes cell growth, migration and differentiation, and as an example of the importance of keratin proteins, absence of KRT17 has been shown to delay wound closure. In addition, downregulation of KRT6 and KRT16 in non-healing chronic venous ulcers suggests that deregulation of keratin expression contributes to non-healing phenotype. A sample of 45 chronic wounds of mixed aetiologies presenting in 31 patients were treated with keratin-based novel topical wound healing products. Thirty-seven wounds or 82% of wounds were either healed or reduced in size of >50% during treatment, with 29 (64%) healing completely and an additional 8 wounds experiencing 50% wound size reduction or greater. Of the wounds that responded, 15 required antimicrobial treatment during their course of treatment, suggesting that keratin dressing treatment should be interrupted briefly and then restarted when wound infection occur.

Keywords: Chronic wounds; Keratin; Leg ulcers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bandages
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogels
  • Keratins / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*
  • Young Adult


  • Hydrogels
  • Keratins