We have examined the distribution of actin filaments and a number of actin-associated proteins during human epidermal wound healing, using a suction blister model in which the epidermis is detached from the dermis, leaving the basement membrane intact. Filamentous actin was found in all the living epidermal layers before, during and after wound healing. alpha-actinin was also present in all the living layers of normal epidermis, but diffuse cytoplasmic staining was observed at the leading edge of migrating epidermis. Vinculin and talin were concentrated at the basement membrane prior to wounding, but were absent from the leading edge during wound healing. In normal epidermis, filamin and gelsolin showed a complementary distribution, with filamin most abundant in the basal layer and gelsolin most abundant suprabasally. The abundance of both proteins was reduced at the leading edge of migrating epidermis. All of the changes were transient, as the expression patterns returned to normal by 1 week after wounding, when the epidermis had reformed. The relevance of these changes to the process of keratinocyte migration is discussed.