The Effects of Argan Oil in Second-degree Burn Wound Healing in Rats

Ostomy Wound Manage. 2016 Mar;62(3):26-34.


Argan oil, produced from the kernels of the argan tree (Argania spinosa), has been shown to have antioxidant properties. To examine the effect of argan oil in second-degree burn wound healing, an in vivo experiment was conducted among 30 adult male Wistar rats divided into 5 equal groups: a sham group, a control group (burned but no topical agent), a group in which argan oil was applied once a day, a group in which argan oil was applied twice a day, and a group treated with 1% silver sulfadiazine once a day. Second-degree burns were created by scalding hot water (85˚ C for 15 seconds). Treatment began 24 hours after the burn injury; in the argan oil groups, 1 mL of argan oil was administered via syringe to the wound. The rate of wound healing was quantified by wound measurements on days 1, 7, and 14 after burn injury. Tissues were analyzed for molecular and histologic changes in TGF-β expression and fibroblast activity. Percent contraction of burned skin tissue was determined using the stereo investigator program, which calculated the burn field to the millimeter. Means (SD) were calculated and compared using Duncan's multiple comparison test. The group receiving argan oil twice daily showed significantly increased mRNA levels of TGF-β1 from 39.66- to 58.70-fold compared to the burn control group on day 14 (P less than 0.05). Both argan oil-treated groups showed significantly increased contraction compared to the burn control group at all 3 timepoints; the group receiving argan oil twice daily had a greater contraction rate (31% on day 7, 76% on day 14) than the silver sulfadiazine group (22% on day 7, 69% on day 14), (P less than 0.05). Histopathological assessments on days 3, 7, and 14 showed greater healing/contraction in both argan oil and silver sulfadiazine groups compared to the control group. These results suggest argan oil is effective in healing experimentally created second-degree burns in rats. Prospective, randomized, controlled clinical studies are needed to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and effectiveness of this treatment modality for patients with second-degree burn wounds.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Burns / drug therapy*
  • Burns / pathology
  • Male
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Wound Healing*


  • Plant Oils
  • argan oil