Retinoids and wound healing

Mark Abdelmalek, James Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Retinoids are widely used in dermatology and may play a role in wound healing. The exact role of retinoids in wounds is confusing and controversial, however. Systemic retinoids are presumed to be detrimental to wound healing; however, this standard is based on isolated reports. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to provide a critical review of the available literature regarding the role of both topical and systemic retinoids in various aspects of wound healing. CONCLUSIONS: Pretreatment with retinoids likely promotes wound healing after facial resurfacing procedures and full- or partial-thickness wounds. While the evidence is mixed regarding the effects of retinoids applied to fresh and healing wounds, the majority of the evidence available shows favorable wound-healing properties in this setting. The medical-legal standard regarding the avoidance of facial resurfacing and surgical procedures in patients on or recently completing a course of systemic retinoids was likely prematurely established.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1219-1230
Number of pages12
JournalDermatologic Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006


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