Best Silver Dressings for Wound Infections in 2022

 

Updated: December 16, 2021

 

There are many different types of silver dressings for sale from wound care manufacturers. Adding silver ions to a dressing pad is a very common application, similar to adding nitrate gels, sulfadiazine (SSD) creams, and sodium zirconium phosphate. Each of these add-on substances target bacteria in wound infections. Silver ions provide a slow release of silver dependent upon the flow of exudate from the wound. Silver nitrates added to gels help to cleanse wounds. Silver sulfadiazine added to creams helps to treat burns and infections. The silver is spread on the skin or wound surface to clean and remove dead tissue. Silver sodium zirconium phosphate (SPF) is a sheet-like crystal additive to wound dressings used in the early stages of wound management to kill bacteria. SPF dressings significantly improve wound healing.1

 

Types of Silver Dressings

Types of Dressings

Wound care manufacturers also add additional functions and benefits to Silver Dressings. These additional functions include easy application, sustained silver dispersal, less frequent dressing changes, exudate absorption, maintenance of a moist wound environment, and autolytic debridement. Manufacturers also add additional benefits to silver dressings by compounding with other elements like alginate, calcium, carboxymethylcellulose, charcoal, collagen, hydrocolloid, hydrogel, or sulfate to bring additional properties like more absorption, odor control, re-epithelialization, granulation, and pain reduction.

Below is a list of elements commonly added to silver dressings to form a compound dressing to append additional benefits to wound healing. This list identifies what the added element is and the benefits it provides.

 

Table of Silver Compound Dressings

Alginate Calcium Carboxymethyl
(CMC)
Charcoal Collagen Hydrocolloid Hydrogel Sulfate
natural fibers derived from seaweed ionized calcium salts water-soluble cellulose activated charcoal layer derived from bovine, equine, porcine or avian inner layer of absorption particles and outer layer of film/foam forms a seal water in a gel base ion salt with detergent and absorption characteristics
re-epithelialialization central regulator moist environment odor management cell migration moist environment monitors fluid exchange accelerates wound healing
grandulation modulates keratinocytes extracellular matrix formation absorbs bacteria stimulates fibroblasts insulates debridement stimulates keratinocytes
  triggers immune response re-epithelialialization localizes toxins stimulates keratinocytes infection protection moist environment keratinocyte migration
  faster healing water-soluble cellulose pain reduction debridement wound protection infection protection stimulates fibroblasts
  epidermal cell migration high absorption   promotes healing     surfactant
  promotes cell regeneration     tissue growth      

 

 

Top 8 Silver Dressing Manufacturers/Brands

  • Molnlycle
  • Convatec
  • Smith & Nephew
  • Coloplast
  • Hollister
  • Medline
  • Silvstat
  • Dermacol

brand logotypes - Aquacel, Mepilex, Opticell Ag, PolyMem Silver, Silvadene, SilvaSorb, Silverlon, SilverSeal

 

How to Select the Best Silver Dressing

The actual needs of the patient are the most important selection criteria for choosing a silver dressing. There are numerous medical studies about silver dressing selection. Below are some noteworthy quotes from some of these studies.

When selecting a dressing containing silver, wound care goals are much the same as when not using a silver dressing: obtain and maintain a clean wound bed, absorb excess exudate, and provide moisture if the wound is dry, while also filling, covering, and protecting the wound. The silver difference is bioburden management.2

Silver remains a reasonable addition to the armamentarium against infection and has relatively few side effects. However, one should weigh the benefits of silver-containing products against the known side effects and the other options available for the intended purpose when selecting the most appropriate therapy.3

As wounds heal, the ideal dressing type may change, depending on the amount of exudate and depth of the wound; thus success in wound dressing selection hinges on recognition of the changing healing environment.... 4 [R]egular wound assessment combined with knowledge of basic wound dressing categories will provide guidance on product selection for different clinical situations and wound types.5

When selecting a dressing containing silver, wound care goals are much the same as when not using a silver dressing: obtain and maintain a clean wound bed, absorb excess exudate, and provide moisture if the wound is dry, while also filling, covering, and protecting the wound .The silver difference is bioburden management.6

 

List of the Top 10 Silver Dressings for 2022

  1. Medline Silvasorb Gel
  2. Molnlycke Mepilex Ag
  3. Acticoat Flex
  4. Aquacel Ag
  5. Silverlon Calcium Alginate
  6. Silvercel Alginate Dressing
  7. Coloplast Interdry
  8. Medline Opticell Ag
  9. Polymem Silver
  10. Medline Maxorb Ag

 

Top Ten Silver Dressings Review

 

SilvaSorb

#1  Silversorb Gel

Silvasorb Gel by Medline comes in various tube sizes to reduce microbial contamination. It stops the growh of fungus and bacteria, creating optimal wound-healing conditions. Its use reduces the risk of infection by featuring MicroLattice particles of ionic silver. This wound dressing works will with burns, surgical wounds, diabetic ulcers, leg pressure ulcers, and partial and full thickness wounds. The formula is non-stinging and it helps maintain a moist wound environment for healing.

Product Specifications

  • Product Numbers: MSC9301EP, MSC93025EP, MSC9303EP, MSC9308EP
  • Sizes: 0.25 oz, 1.5 oz, 3 oz, and 8 oz
  • Active Ingredient: Ionic Silver
  • Manufacturer: Medline
  • Brand: SilvaSorb

 

 

Mepilex Ag

#2  Molnlycke Mepilex Ag

Mepilex Ag from Molnlycke is a foam absorption pad. It absorbs exudate and maintains a moist wound. The dressing contains a layer that seals the wound edges to keep exudate from leaking to the surrounding skin. It has a sustained antimicrobial activity for up to seven days. Mepilex Ag bandage may be cut to fit the wound size. It works well for medium wounds, presure ulcers, leg ulcers, and exuding burns. Mepilex Ag is also available in the following:

Product Specifications

  • Product Numbers: 287090, 287100, 287200, 287300, 287400, 287500
  • Sizes: 4 x 4, 4 x 8, 6 x 6, 8 x 8, 8 x 20 Inch
  • Active Ingredient: Ionic Silver
  • Manufacturer: Molnlycke
  • Brand: Mepilex Ag

 

 

Acticoat Flex

#3  Acticoat Flex

Acticoat Flex is a silver coated dressing available in two formats--Flex 3 and Flex 7. The Acticoat Flex 3 serves and infected wound bed for 3-days while the Acticoat Flex 7 lasts for up to 7 days before requiring a change. They form an antimicrobial barrier to allow the wound to heal faster. They also decrease odor causing bacteria.

"Acticoat is one of the best sheet like silver dressings, which when moistened with sterile water, releases silver ions onto the wound surface, destroying within 30 minutes both Gram positive and negative bacteria as well as Vancomycin resistant enterococci and Methicillin resistant S. aureus. 'If re-moistened, Acticoat produces a controlled release of clusters of silver cations onto the wound, for up to 3 days (if using Acticoat™) or 7 days (if using Acticoat 7)'.7

Acticoat has been shown to shorten in-patient stay compared to patients treated with SSD. The resulting decrease in bedtime and subsequently nursing time in this study means that Acticoat has been demonstrated to lower overall treatment costs compared to silver sulfadiazine in the high cost burns arena.8

Product Specifications

  • Product Numbers: 66800403, 66800405, 66800427, 66800406, 66800418, 66800402, 66800417, 66800433, 66800434, 66800408
  • Sizes: 2 x 2, 4 x 4, 4 x 5, 4 x 8, 6 x 6, 8 x 16, 16 x 16 Inch
  • Active Ingredient: SILCRYST nanocrystalline Silver.
  • HCPCS Codes: A6206, A6207, A6208
  • Manufacturer: Smith & Nephew
  • Brand: Acticoat Flex

 

 

Aquacel Ag

#4  Aquacel Ag

Aquacel Ag is available in many different options from hydrofiber ribbons to rectangular dressing pads to border dressings. These dressings use ionic silver to reduce bacteria growth and promote faster wound healing by providing a moist wound environment. The top layer of the bandage is waterproof, allowing the user to shower and bathe. These bandages are available in adhesive and non-adhesive options and in squares, rectangles, heel, and sacral shapes. The foam pad protects the wound from minor bumps and is absorbent.

Product Specifications

  • Product Numbers: 420627, 420628, 420639, 420642, 420645, 420646, 420647, 420648, 420681, 420805, 420806, 420807, 420827
  • Sizes: 2 x 2, 3.25 x 3.25, 4 x 4, 6 x 6, 5.5 x 8, 6 x 8, 10 x 12 Inch and other sizes
  • Active Ingredient: Ionic Silver
  • Manufacturer: ConvaTec
  • Brand: Aquacel Ag

 

 

Silverlon Calcium Alginate Dressings

#5  Silverlon

Silverlon Calcium Alginate Dressing is manufactured by Cardinal Health and is a combination dressing employing silver and calcium alginate to heal wounds and treat infections. It offers a barrier to microbial contaminants and serves moderate to heavy exudating partial and full thickness wounds. Silverlon is appropriate for pressure ulcers, diabetic ulcers, surgical wounds, and 1st and 2nd degree burns. The design of this bandage is for professional use.

Product Specifications

  • Product Numbers: CA-7512
  • Sizes: 3/4 x 12 Inch
  • Active Ingredient: Ionic Silver
  • Manufacturer/Brand: Silverlon

 

 

Silvercel

#6  Silvercel Alginate Dressing

Silvercel from 3M, formerly Systagenix, offers an antimicrobial barrier for up to seven days. This non-adherent bandage features a non-woven pad with alginate, carboxymethylcellulose, and nylon fibers coated in silver. The alginate manages wound exudate while the silver coating provides an antimirobial agent to combat infections. It offers high absorbency and is bactericidal, sporicidal, virucidal and fungicidal. The bandage contains gelling fiber to help manage chronic wounds.

Product Specifications

  • Product Numbers: 900112, 900202, 900404, 900408
  • Sizes: 1 x 12 Rope, 2 x 2, 4.25 x 4.25, 4 x 8 Inch
  • Active Ingredient: Ionic Silver
  • Manufacturer: 3M
  • Brand: Silvercel

 

 

Interdry Ag

#6  Interdry Ag

Interdry Ag is a Coloplast product designed for skin fold moisture management. It consists of a coated textile polyester surface that manages odor and inflammation for skin-to-skin contact areas. Interdry is a knited polyester fabric inpregnated with silver for antimicrobial properties. It offers treatment for denudement, erythema, maceration, inflammation, itching, and satellite lesions. This wicking bandage comes in a roll format.

Product Specifications

  • Product Numbers: 7910, 7912
  • Sizes: 10 x 36, 10 x 144 Inch
  • Active Ingredient: Ionic Silver
  • Manufacturer: Coloplast
  • Brand: Interdry Ag

 

 

Opticell Ag

#7  Opticell Ag

Opticell Ag is an absorbent silver dressing with Chytoform technology to wick away exudate from the wound. It gently removes dead and damaged tissue and has a seven day wear time. Manufactured by Medline, Opticell Ag is a primary dressing that is non-adherent and requires a secondary dressing to hold it in place. The bandage is gentle to the wound bed and provides less trauma during removal. Its design supports healing and healthy skin around the wound.

Product Specifications

  • Product Numbers: MSC9845EP
  • Sizes: 4 x 5 Inch
  • Active Ingredient: Ionic Silver
  • Manufacturer: Medline
  • Brand: Opticell Ag

 

 

Polymem Silver

#9  Polymem Silver

Polymem Silver, manufactured by Ferris, offers a wound contact dressing made with polyester fibers that are woven together to provide a membrane. This non-adhesive bandage is easy to apply and is absorbent and antimirobial. It promotes healthy skin around the wound and keeps exudate from leaking around the wound. Its design help reduce swelling.

PolyMem Silver QuadraFoam dressings have been used to 1) help jump-start stalled wounds, 2) manage wounds in patients prone to infection, 3) and help manage infected wounds, 4) when the underlying cause of the infection was being addressed. QuadraFoam dressings contain and attract moisture by design so they can be used on dry wounds without the need to add moisture.9

Product Specifications

  • Product Numbers: 1044, 1077, 1124, 1402
  • Sizes: 2.2 x 2.6, 4.25 x 4.25, 6.5 x 7.5, 4.5 x 12.5, Inch
  • Active Ingredient: Ionic Silver
  • Manufacturer: Ferris
  • Brand: Polymem Silver

 

 

Maxorb Extra AG

#10  Maxorb AG

Maxorb Extra AG is an antimicrobial wound dressing manufactured by Medline. It offers antimicrobial properties through ionic silver. Offering high absorbency Maxorb Ag is a good match for deep wound healing. The bandage provides controlled silver release that provides 21 days of wound protection. Designed with natural alginate fibers, Maxorb releases calcium salts that react with wound fluids to reduce the flow of bleeding and reduces odors.

Product Specifications

  • Product Numbers: MSC9412, MSC9422, MCS9445, MSC9448
  • Sizes: 1 x 12 Inch Rope, 2 x 2 Inch, 4 x 4-3/4 Inch, 4 x 8 Inch
  • Active Ingredient: Alginate and Silver
  • Manufacturer: Medline
  • Brand: SilvaSorb

 

 

Footnotes

 

 

Medical Studies and Reports

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of Burt Cancaster

Burt Cancaster, Author

Vitality Medical
7910 South 3500 East, Suite C
Salt Lake City, UT 84121
(801) 733-4449
[email protected]

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