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Significant Information On Colloidal Silver
Silver as an element is widely used in manufacturing, the cosmetic industry and in the medical field. Colloidal silver, produced by suspension of elemental particles in a liquid is the form that is applied in medical practice. The colloid was at one time the most popular antibiotic all over the world. Its popularity has dipped steadily over the years thanks to the discovery of better drugs.
One of the characteristics of a good antibiotic is that it has a therapeutic effect at very small quantities. In pharmacological terms, the antibiotic is said to have a high efficacy. Related to the same, it should also have a wide therapeutic range meaning harmful effects are only seen with very high doses. Unlike many of the commonly used drugs currently, the colloid does not strictly meet these requirements. This, compounded to the fact that it is more expensive to produce are the reasons why it is no longer routinely used.
The limitations notwithstanding, the colloid appears to have effects against microbial organisms on the skin and mucosal surfaces. For this reason it is considered an integral component of endotracheal tubes for patients that are on ventilator support or those who require intubation during surgery. Such prophylaxis is also required during the placement of cardiac and orthopedic implants.
There are many formulations that are available for medical use. They include the creams, wound dressings and ointments. The cream is one of the most popularly used treatment for burn injuries. Its role in such injuries is to minimize loss of water thus maintaining the physiological homeostasis and to keep bacterial organisms in check. Dressings that have been impregnated with the colloid are used in the management of chronic, non-healing wounds such as those associated with diabetes.
This element is usually reacted with a number of salts to form more useful products. An example is silver nitrate. This compound is the main component of eye ointment that is given to newborns as a prophylactic measure against conjunctivitis. It is also effective in treating skin conditions such as corns and warts.
One of the most dramatic side effects of using silver compounds in high doses or over a prolonged period of time is a condition termed agyria. This condition manifests as a color change to the skin to blue or gray in areas of the skin where accumulation of the element has taken place. Since the effects are most pronounced in the hands and on the face. A reaction between sunlight and the element is believed to be the cause.
The element can also accumulate in other organs other than the skin. Those that are frequently affected include the brain, the kidneys, the heart and the liver. This is most likely to take place in cases of sustained use and when very high doses are involved. This complication has the potential to cause organ shutdown. There is no effective treatment available at the moment but laser therapy is still in experimental stages.
There is no doubt that the use of silver based treatments has greatly reduced over the years. There are some applications, however, that have persisted. When using the products due caution should be taken due to the likelihood of detrimental effects particular in very high doses. For this reason, the use of such therapies should only be done as guided by a prescription.