Pure silver, through the release of silver ions, has been reported to be effective in preventing infections as well as in improving wound healing. Silver appears to kill microbes by blocking the respiratory enzymes required for energy production. Although silver's potent antimicrobial properties are well studied, scientific data on the healing effects of silver are lacking.

Over the past 40 years, silver has been combined with more stable complexes, such as nitrate and sulfadiazine, for topical use on wounds. This approach that maintains silver's antimicrobial properties, however, may actually impede the reepithelialization process.91

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