Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) is a type of naturally occurring protein molecule found in the skin’s fibroblast cells that contributes to cell growth, development and healing. Its makeup consists of 53 amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. EGFs can be found within a number of different mammals, including the human. It’s believed its’ primary purpose is to help renew the skin after it’s been injured.
The outer layer of the skin is called the epidermis, so as the name suggests, EGF recognises and binds to a specific receptor that lies on the outer layer of the skin. Once this happens, the skin cells’ receptors deliver a message to increase the production of cells in a specific area.
Typically, this all takes place during the inflammation stage after an injury has occurred. EGF is processed and attracts cells to that area to allow the skin to repair itself evenly and quickly; it’s crucial to the healing and regeneration process.
Since EGF is a naturally occurring protein molecule, levels of it are found in all humans and many mammals. All sorts of different growth factors are present from birth until adulthood while our bodies develop their bones, organs, nerves and skin.
However, as the body reaches maturity, the production of these growth factors begins to diminish. EGF levels begin to decrease at the age of 20 after which our skin becomes thinner by 1% each year. After menopause, the skin becomes 30% thinner and the rate at which wounds heal slows down. This is all caused because a decline in EGF means a deterioration in cell turnover and repair.
For more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidermal_growth_factor