The aim of this study was to compare the clinical and histopathological effects of tripeptide copper complex (TCC) and two different doses of laser application (helium-neon laser, 1 and 3 J cm(-2)) on wound healing with untreated control wounds. Experimental wounds were created on a total of 24 New Zealand white rabbits and topical TCC or laser was applied for 28 days. The wounds were observed daily, and planimetry was performed on days 7, 14, 21 and 28 to measure the unhealed wound area and percentage of total wound healing. Biopsies were taken weekly to evaluate the inflammatory response and the level of neovascularization. The median time for the first observable granulation tissue was shorter (P < 0.05) in the low and high dose laser groups than in the control group (3 and 2.66 vs. 4.5 days), but was not different between the TCC and control groups (4.16 vs. 4.5 days). Filling of the open wound to skin level with granulation tissue was faster (P < 0.05) in the TCC and high dose laser groups than in the control group (14 and 16 vs. 25 days), but was not different between the low dose laser and control groups (23 vs. 25 days). The average time for healing was shorter (P < 0.05) in the TCC and high dose laser groups (29.8 and 30.2 vs. 34.6 days), but was not different between the low dose laser and control groups (33.8 vs. 34.6 days). Histopathologically, wound healing was characterized by a decrease in the neutrophil counts and an increase in neovascularization. The TCC and high dose laser groups had greater neutrophil and vessel counts than in the control group, suggesting a more beneficial effect for wound healing.