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Burns. 2007 Mar;33(2):139-48. Epub 2006 Nov 29.

Effect of silver on burn wound infection control and healing: review of the literature.

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Division Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon.


Silver compounds have been exploited for their medicinal properties for centuries. At present, silver is reemerging as a viable treatment option for infections encountered in burns, open wounds, and chronic ulcers. The gold standard in topical burn treatment is silver sulfadiazine (Ag-SD), a useful antibacterial agent for burn wound treatment. Recent findings, however, indicate that the compound delays the wound-healing process and that silver may have serious cytotoxic activity on various host cells. The present review aims at examining all available evidence about effects, often contradictory, of silver on wound infection control and on wound healing trying to determine the practical therapeutic balance between antimicrobial activity and cellular toxicity. The ultimate goal remains the choice of a product with a superior profile of infection control over host cell cytotoxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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