Hydrogen Peroxide Inhibits Human Keratinocyte Migration

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Reepithelialization is an important component of wound healing. In the first 48 hours keratinocyte migration and proliferation are important events in this process. Although the literature agrees that the risk/benefit of antiseptics has not been established, hydrogen peroxide is still commonly used in the management of acute and chronic wounds.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of hydrogen peroxide on human keratinocyte migration and proliferative potential.


The viability and proliferative potential of human keratinocytes in the presence of hydrogen peroxide was assessed by trypan blue exclusion, cell morphology, substratum attachment, and thymidine incorporation. Using concentrations of hydrogen peroxide that do not affect keratinocyte viability, keratinocyte migration was evaluated by a standard motility assay.


Hydrogen peroxide in concentrations ≤700 fan was found to have no effect on keratinocyte viability. At these low concentrations, however, hydrogen peroxide had a profound inhibitory effect upon keratinocyte migration on extracellular matrix and decreased the proliferative potential of the cells in a concentration-dependent fashion.


Hydrogen peroxide, in very low concentrations (1000-fold less than the “everyday use” dilution) inhibits keratinocyte migration and proliferation.

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