Chronic wounds display aberrant wound healing or wound healing that deviates from normal. The term ‘chronic wounds’, implies that these wounds do not heal in a timely fashion. They are often predisposed to infection, and not uncommonly result in amputation. Growth factors and cytokines play a pivotal role in cutaneous wound healing. It has been noted that some growth factors are deficient in chronic wounds, therefore it has been suggested that local or topical application of these factors may compensate for any deficiency and allow normal wound healing to progress. This paper reviews current work on the application of topical growth factors to wounds. Some potential problems are identified and suggestions are made for future areas where research may improve the effectiveness of this form of therapy.