Retinoids have long been associated with wound healing, but objective data, until recently, have been scarce. Vitamin A deficiency retards repair. Secondly, retinoids restore steroid-retarded repair toward normal. Because vitamin A tends to suppress fibroblasts in cell culture and stimulate steroid-treated macrophages to initiate reparative behavior in tissue, we favor the hypothesis that retinoids are particularly important in macrophagic inflammation, which plays a central role in the control of wound healing. Probably all patients who take anti-inflammatory steroids should control their retinoid intake, but how they should control it is as yet unknown.