Skin wounds usually heal without major infections, although the loss of the mechanical epithelial barrier exposes the tissue to various bacteria. One reason may be the expression of antimicrobial peptides (AMP) of which some [human beta-defensins (hBD) and LL-37] were recently shown to support additionally certain steps of wound healing. There are no studies which have compared expression patterns of different classes of AMP in chronic wounds. The aim of our study was therefore to analyse the expression profile of hBD-2, hBD-3, LL-37, psoriasin and RNase 7 by immunohistochemistry from defined wound margins of chronic venous ulcers. We detected a strong induction of psoriasin and hBD-2 in chronic wounds in comparison with healthy skin. Except for stratum corneum, no expression of RNase 7 and LL-37 was detected in the epidermis while expression of hBD-3 was heterogeneous. Bacterial swabs identified Staphylococcus aureus and additional bacterial populations, but no association between colonization and AMP expression was found. The differential expression of AMP is noteworthy considering the high bacterial load of chronic ulcers. Clinically, supplementation of AMP with the capability to enhance wound healing besides restricting bacterial overgrowth could present a physiological support for treatment of disturbed wound healing.