Although wound contraction begins almost concurrently with collagen synthesis, contraction does not appear to depend on collagen synthesis. Contraction, defined as the centripetal movement of wound edges that facilitates closure of a wound defect, is maximal at 5 to 15 days after injury. Contraction results in a decrease in wound size. The maximal rate of contraction is 0.75 mm/d and depends on the degree of tissue laxity and shape of the wound. Wound contraction depends on the myofibroblast located at the periphery of the wound, its connection to components of the extracellular matrix, and myofibroblast proliferation. Cell division inhibition (i.e., radiation, medications) will delay wound contraction. Topical zinc, for example, has been shown to decrease contraction.

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