Get to know keratin

By Michelle Barson, KeraVet Bio Staff

What is keratin?

Hair keratins are a structural protein found in hair and fingernails and are often referred to as ‘‘hard’’ keratins.  These hard keratins can be used to create gels, films, coatings, creams, and fibers and are used for multiple medical applications such as wound healing, bone regeneration and nerve repair in humans.  It’s growing in popularity to use as more research on its efficacy continue to be produced and more ways of using its unique properties are discovered for both human medical and beauty products.

Keratin offers biocompatibility, which means that it is compatible with living tissue and won’t produce a toxic or otherwise adverse response when used on people or animals. It is also a biodegradable substance and will naturally break down.

Why use keratin?

Keratin is a durable, natural constituent of the mammalian body (in fact it makes up 90% of human hair, skin, and nails). This unique biomaterial is fundamental to the healthy development of hard and soft tissues.  When applied to a wound, it provides strength and resilience to cells that form an immediate natural barrier to protect damaged skin and other tissues during healing.

Keratin is ideal as a medical, wound healing device because it creates a natural barrier to the environment, provides a moist wound bed for healing and doesn’t require additional bandaging as it stays where it is applied.  Keratin is also an affordable biomaterial and one that the medical field will always have access to more of.