Background and Aim: Reepithelialization can be described as the resurfacing of a wound with new epithelium in the process of healing, with the overlapping step from keratinocyte migration and proliferation to the tissue contraction. Zinc oxide-turmeric extract dressing has been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties, but its effectivity in the reepithelialization process is still unknown. This study aimed to determine the effect of a wound dressing consisting of zinc oxide and turmeric extract on wound reepithelialization by assessing the expression of cytokeratin 14 (CK14), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and epithelial cadherin (E-cadherin). Materials and Methods: A total of 40 Wistar rats were randomized into four control and four treatment groups (n=5 per group). On day 1, a square-shaped full-thickness skin excision measuring 6×6 mm in size was created in the dorsal thoracic area of the rats, and the wounds were either dressed with a combination of zinc oxide and turmeric extract in the treatment groups or left undressed in the control groups. Then, the rats were sequentially sacrificed on days 3, 5, 7, and 14 to obtain subepithelial excision samples, which were subsequently subjected to immunohistochemistry analysis for the expression of CK14, EGFR, and E-cadherin to ascertain wound reepithelization. The data were tabulated and analyzed using a one-way analysis of variance and least significant difference test. Results: The highest expression levels of CK14, EGFR, and E-cadherin were observed on days 7 and 14 in the treatment and control groups, respectively. While the expression levels of these markers on day 7 were found to be significantly higher in the treatment than the control groups, no significant difference in the expression levels on day 14 was detected between the control and treatment groups (p<0.05). Conclusion: A wound dressing consisting of zinc oxide and turmeric extract can help accelerate reepithelization in the wound healing process.
- Cytokeratin 14
- Epidermal growth factor receptor
- Epithelial cadherin
- Turmeric extract
- Wound dressing