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Silver Sulfadiazine (On the skin)

Prevents and treats skin infections in patients with severe burns.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Silver sulfadiazine cream is used to prevent and treat wound infections in patients with second- and third-degree burns. Patients with severe burns or burns over a large area of the body must be treated in a hospital. Silver sulfadiazine is an antibiotic. It works by killing the bacteria or preventing its growth. This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription… Read more
Brand names include
Flamazine, SSD AF, Silvadene, Ssd, Thermazene
Drug classes About this
Antibacterial

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

[Efficacy of the application of nanocrystalline silver (Acticoat) vs silver sulfadiazine for the treatment of burns]

Bibliographic details: Felipez Agrelo IM, Zurita AG, Souto Trillo MR.  [Efficacy of the application of nanocrystalline silver (Acticoat) vs silver sulfadiazine for the treatment of burns]. [Eficacia de la aplicación de la plata nanocristalina (Acticoat) frente a sulfadiazina de plata en el tratamiento de quemaduras.] Metas de Enfermeria 2014; 17(5): 22-26 Available from: http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=4794040

Probable that silver‐containing dressings and creams do not prevent wound infection or promote healing 

Wound dressings and creams containing silver are widely used. It is thought that silver may help wounds to heal faster and prevent infection, but we did not know if this was true. This review identified 26 trials (involving 2066 participants) comparing silver‐containing dressings or creams against dressings or creams that did not contain silver. Twenty of the trials were on burn wounds, while the other trials were on a mixture of wound types. Most studies were small and of poor quality. After examining them all, the authors concluded that there is not enough evidence to support the use of silver‐containing dressings or creams, as generally these treatments did not promote wound healing or prevent wound infections. Some evidence from a number of small, poor‐quality studies suggested that one silver‐containing compound (silver sulphadiazine) has no effect on infection, and actually slows down healing in patients with partial‐thickness burns.

Antibiotics to prevent burn wounds becoming infected

Burn injuries are a serious problem. They are associated with a significant incidence of death and disability, multiple surgical procedures, prolonged hospitalisation, and high costs of health care.

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Summaries for consumers

Probable that silver‐containing dressings and creams do not prevent wound infection or promote healing 

Wound dressings and creams containing silver are widely used. It is thought that silver may help wounds to heal faster and prevent infection, but we did not know if this was true. This review identified 26 trials (involving 2066 participants) comparing silver‐containing dressings or creams against dressings or creams that did not contain silver. Twenty of the trials were on burn wounds, while the other trials were on a mixture of wound types. Most studies were small and of poor quality. After examining them all, the authors concluded that there is not enough evidence to support the use of silver‐containing dressings or creams, as generally these treatments did not promote wound healing or prevent wound infections. Some evidence from a number of small, poor‐quality studies suggested that one silver‐containing compound (silver sulphadiazine) has no effect on infection, and actually slows down healing in patients with partial‐thickness burns.

Antibiotics to prevent burn wounds becoming infected

Burn injuries are a serious problem. They are associated with a significant incidence of death and disability, multiple surgical procedures, prolonged hospitalisation, and high costs of health care.

Aloe vera for treating acute and chronic wounds

Aloe vera is a cactus‐like, succulent plant which grows in tropical climates. Aloe vera is widely used in a variety of cosmetics including creams and toiletries. Some studies conducted in animals have suggested that Aloe vera may help wound healing. Aloe vera can be applied topically as a cream or gel, or can be impregnated into a dressing and applied to the wound.

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