Wound healing property of milk in full thickness wound model of rabbit

Int J Surg. 2018 Jun;54(Pt A):133-140. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2018.04.030. Epub 2018 Apr 22.


Objective: Wound healing consists of several continuous phases in which various cells and chemical intermediates are involved. Milk as a rich source of nutritional elements has proved to have potential benefits for treatment of various diseases. The present study was designed to investigate the healing effect of low-fat cow's milk on an open skin wound model in the rabbit.

Methods: The 2%, 5%, and 10% (w/w) ointments of lyophilized powder of low-fat milk were prepared in the eucerin base and were applied twice daily in the treatment groups. Phenytoin 1% ointment was used as a standard control. The healing effect of the milk ointment (MO) was evaluated through the measurement of wound surface area, the extent of tissue tension, and the content of hydroxyproline. Histological evaluation of skin tissue specimens was also performed using hematoxylin and eosin staining.

Results: The results showed that the healing rate in the treatment group was significantly higher than that of untreated group and eucerin group (p < 0.01). The best healing effect was seen in 5% milk ointment with the shortest healing time (15 days) and the highest tissue tension in comparison to other groups. Although the tissue hydroxyproline content in this group was slightly lower than that of the phenytoin group, this difference was not significant. Histologic, findings indicated increased collagen fibers, increased fibroblasts and an evident decrease in inflammatory cells in that group.

Conclusion: It can, therefore, be concluded that low-fat cow's milk has significant beneficial effects on skin wound healing. Therefore, it may be used as a healing agent in different types of the wound in humans after certain clinical trials.

Keywords: Hydroxyproline; Milk; Rabbit; Tensile strength; Wound healing.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hydroxyproline / analysis
  • Male
  • Milk*
  • Ointments / administration & dosage
  • Phenytoin / administration & dosage
  • Powders / administration & dosage
  • Rabbits
  • Skin / injuries*
  • Wound Healing*


  • Ointments
  • Powders
  • Phenytoin
  • Hydroxyproline