Epidermal growth factor is a potent stimulant of epithelialization. However, the usefulness of topical applications of epidermal growth factor in accelerating wound healing in full-thickness skin wounds with a large panniculus adiposus has not been clear. Four full-thickness skin incisions were made in the back of 10 female pigs that treated twice a day for 14 days with 2 ml of epidermal growth factor (300 ng/ml) or 2 ml of Ringer's lactate solution in a single-blind, randomized fashion. Two pigs received only epidermal growth factor, two pigs received only Ringer's lactate solution, and six pigs were treated with both solutions. The original skin plug was weighed to ensure similarity of groups. Photographs and measurements of each incision were taken every 7 days. The mean surface areas of the incisions treated with epidermal growth factor were 8.45, 7.50, and 2.30 cm2; in the incisions treated with Ringer's lactate solution the measurements were 8.42, 8.16, and 2.37 cm2 on observation days 1, 7, and 14, respectively. Although a trend toward a faster healing rate was noted in the incisions treated with epidermal growth factor, this difference was not statistically significant. With the doses and the time interval used between treatments, minimal benefit was obtained with epidermal growth factor when compared with Ringer's lactate solution.