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Acticoat is an advanced antimicrobial dressing by Smith & Nephew. Developed with three separate layers, Acticoat provides exceptional wound care for partial or full-thickness wounds, including burns. The three layers of this Wound Dressings are as follows: 1) layer of apertured non-woven rayon and polyester fabric, 2) a layer of silver coated, high density polyethylene mesh, and 3) a second layer of silver coated, high density polyethylene mesh. Each of these layers are bonded together to help prevent separation. As a Silver Dressing, Acticoat provides antibacterial protection against a wide variety of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria to fight against infection by using Nanocrystalline Silver. This antibacterial activity includes protection from many strains of bacteria resistant to antibiotics. This silver wound dressing should be changed every three days unless there is heavy exudation which would require more frequent changing. Smith & Nephew has also developed a silver dressing that provides wound protection for up to seven days called Acticoat 7. This dressing provides less disturbance to the wound by extending the time between dressing changes.

For more wound dressings, take a look at our Wound Care selections. Popular Acticoat dressings include Acticoat 3 Day Dressings, Acticoat 7 Day Dressings, Flex Dressings and Moisture Control Dressings.

Acticoat Wound Dressings provide a unique range of antimicrobial barriers for use over partial, full thickness and acute wounds. This advanced wound care dressing offers the following advantages:

  • 1. Uses a unique patented silver technology called Silcryst nanocrystalline effective against bacteria and some strains of yeast and fungi.
  • 2. Offers silver antimicrobial protection.
  • 3. Provides an effective barrier to over 150 wound pathogens.
  • 4. Produces faster bacterial kill rates and longer wear times.
  • 5. Kills bacteria in as little as 30 minutes, 2 to 5 times faster than most silver dressings.
  • 6. 3 or 7 day length between dressing changes.


Acticoat is used for partial and full-thickness wounds, including burns, diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers, venous ulcers, recipient graft sites and donor sites.


Acticoat should not be used for patients with hypersensitivity to silver. Do not use these dressings during MRI exams or radiation therapy. Acticoat should not be used with any oil-based ointments or topical antimicrobial. Use of such products may dry out the dressing, allowing the dressing to adhere to the wound surface.

Manufacturer's Use Instructions

  • Remove the Acticoat dressing from the pack using an aseptic technique.
  • Moisten the dressing with drinking water (DO NOT use saline). Remove excess water prior to application e.g. leave to drain on a sterile field for approximately 2 minutes.
  • Cut the dressing to shape as necessary.
  • Apply the dressing to the wound surface.
  • Occasionally transient pain on application of Acticoat has been reported. This can be minimized by carefully following the application instructions. Should continuous pain be experienced after application remove the dressing and discontinue use.
  • Secure the Acticoat dressing in place with an appropriate secondary dressing that will maintain a moist wound environment.
  • In the case of highly exuding wounds an absorbent secondary dressing is appropriate. In this type of wound, film dressings alone are not recommended.
  • Keep the dressing moist but not so wet that tissue maceration occurs.
  • Change the dressing depending on the amount of exudate present and the condition of the wound. Dressings should be changed at least every 3 days.
  • Should the dressing dry or adhere to the wound, moisten or soak the dressing to assist removal and avoid disruption of the healing wound.


Smith & Nephew Acticoat is packaged in a peel pouch and sealed with a laminated cover. Sterilization is performed by gamma irradiation.


Smith & Nephew Acticoat Performance Study

Nucryst Pharmaceuticals, Manufacturer of SILCRYST Nanocrystals

Wright, J. B., Lam, K., Burrell, R. E. Wound Management in an Era of Increasing Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance: A Role for Topical Silver Treatment.

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