Epidermal Growth Factor in Aesthetics and Regenerative Medicine: Systematic Review


Epidermal Growth Factor (rhEGF) is a promising skin antiaging agent that successfully promotes skin wound repair, and it has been investigated in the past decade for these purposes. However, there are no updated systematic reviews, in English or English, that support the efficacy of rhEGF as a regenerative skin treatment or systematic reviews that compile the uses of rhEGF as facial aesthetic therapy and regenerative medicine.


Overall, 49 articles were found, which described the use of rhEGF for skin regeneration and restructuring. Efficacy in the regeneration of skin wounds was verified through the intradermal and topical application of formulations with rhEGF. Most clinical trials in aesthetics point to an effective inversion of skin aging. However, uncontrolled or randomized trials abound, so that does not represent enough evidence to establish its efficiency. There are transient adverse effects for both cases.


The rhEGF considers an effective therapeutic alternative for patients with recalcitrant skin wounds and skin aging, as it is a potent and specific mitogenic factor for the skin.

Keywords: Epidermal growth factor, facial aesthetics, regenerative medicine, skin aging, skin ulcers
Key messages: ✓ Similarities exist between the aging skin and wound healing, and mostly they involve the same oxidation and repair mechanisms, ✓ In both cases, it is necessary to biostimulate fibroblasts and keratinocytes, inducing dermal restructuring., ✓ The EFG is more effectively applied by intradermal injections and using transdermal patches, thereby reducing the rhytids, folds, and hyperpigmentation and accelerating wound healing.

A skin wound is similar to skin aged by inflammation mediated by reactive oxygen species. Besides, in wound healing there is angiogenesis and replacement of extracellular matrix, leading to re-epithelialization, but it is in the final phase that the collagen fibers are remodeled and elastin is restructured. This last phase is characterized by antiaging treatments, and the use of growth factors evokes such dermal restructuring.

When topical or injectable growth factors are administered, the depleted levels are replenished and the activity of the cells responsible for dermal remodeling is regulated, reversing skin aging. The rhEGF replenishes this balance and facilitates wound healing and dermatological conditions, as evidenced in some studies.

The evidence is clear as to the success or effectiveness of rhEGF for facial rejuvenation; however, quasi-experimental, uncontrolled, or randomized clinical trials still abound. The studies assessed its effects while it was applied topically, but the greatest efficiency of the EFG was obtained intradermally, with a greater reduction of rhytids, folds, and a longer response over time. Besides, to guarantee its effectiveness, a possible route of entry for this molecular size is through intradermotherapy.

In regenerative medicine, the EGF has been studied under preclinical trials and clinical trials, mostly quasi-experimental ones that are not uniform in terms of the route of administration, dose, and therapeutic regimen, which indicates the need to shield studies in this area by promoting the control and randomization to give more precise results on the resounding efficacy of the factor in wound regeneration.



  • Products with EGF are an important topical therapeutic modality to treat aging skin efficiently and to treat hyper-pigmentation, rhytids, dryness, and laxity.
  • The EGF is effective in the advanced healing of skin wounds, according to the results of multiple investigations in severe cases, although studies are required to establish concentrations and indications of use for each case.
  • Injected rhEGF exerts a higher antiaging effect, inducing collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, which are responsible for skin elasticity and turgor. However, more controlled, randomized, and long-term follow-up clinical trials are needed to specify the dose and therapeutic protocol to ensure its efficacy.


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