Pharmacological treatment of wounds

Semin Cutan Med Surg. 1998 Dec;17(4):260-5. doi: 10.1016/s1085-5629(98)80022-9.


Systemic treatment of patients with wounds can be directed at several physiological aspects of healing during the consecutive phases of tissue repair. Many approaches to pharmacological treatment have been tested in vitro, in animal experiments, or in clinical studies. Investigators and clinicians focus on treating underlying metabolic, infectious, inflammatory, or hemorrheological diseases and their complications. Drug treatment is often adjuvant or complementary to other measures such as compression, surgical intervention, reconstruction, or reopening procedures. This compounding fact can render interpretation of the results more difficult. As systemic treatment is not always without side-effects; local wound management is an option to consider. Topically applied growth factors certainly have the potential to influence the healing process. An indirect way of providing growth factors to wounds and chronic ulcers can be achieved by the application of grafts, cultured keratinocytes, and skin substitutes. Modulation of angiogenesis during wound healing is a recent target for research and treatment. Future reviews probably also will include genetic engineering methods for influencing wound healing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Growth Substances / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Skin / injuries
  • Wounds and Injuries / drug therapy*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Growth Substances