Therapeutic effects of chitosan in veterinary dermatology: A systematic review of the literature

Blayra Maldonado-Cabrera, Dalia Isabel Sánchez-Machado, Jaime López-Cervantes*, Reyna Fabiola Osuna-Chávez, Ana Aglahe Escárcega-Galaz, Ramón Enrique Robles-Zepeda, Ana Sanches-Silva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Chitosan is a natural polysaccharide with biocompatibility, biodegradability, nontoxicity, antimicrobial, and hemostatic properties. This biopolymer has been used in different pharmaceutical forms; therefore, it has an attractive potential for dermal applications in veterinary medicine. The aim of this review is to assess the healing potential of chitosan, based on its dermatological effects on animals, to enrich the therapeutic options of veterinary clinicians. A systematic review was conducted based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) strategy, retrieving 1,032 studies and selecting 39 after the inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied. The studies included reports with confirmed positive effects (n = 46/99, 46.5 %) (P < 0.05), with positive effects (n = 49.5/99, 49.5 %), and with no effect (n = 4/99, 4 %); none of the studies reported adverse effects. There is an association between frequency of application and a decrease in healing time (P = 0.038); applying chitosan “every 48−72 hours” was the most recommended frequency (n = 10/19, 52.9 %). Chitosan, when applied to skin lesions on animals, produces positive effects on healing, potentially becoming a safe biomaterial for skin treatments in veterinary practice. As an initial protocol, we suggest applying chitosan every 48–72 hours for at least 2 weeks (7 applications).

Original languageEnglish
Article number105325
Pages (from-to)105325
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
StatePublished - 1 May 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Chitosan
  • Dermatological effects
  • Topical treatment
  • Veterinary science


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