Uses for Silver Sulfadiazine Cream

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Use of Silver Sulfadiazine Cream may be the difference between a burn that heals perfectly and one that gets severely infected. This cream is used in most second- and third-degree burn cases. Because of its activity against numerous bacterial strains, the cream is also approved for use in catheter-related infection prevention. The brand names for this cream are Silvadene, Thermazene and Flamazine and generics are available.

Features

  • Silver Sulfadiazine Cream is a thick topical antibacterial cream most commonly used for burn wounds. While it's not fully clear to scientists how Silver Sulfadiazine actually works, it has broad antimicrobial activity. E. coli and Staph are among strains of the bacteria that this cream combats.

Uses

  • Silver Sulfadiazine Cream is used to prevent infections in cases in which burns have penetrated the skin. The moisture of the cream provides relief from any itchiness associated with the healing process.

    Change the wound dressing in a closed room with minimal air circulation in order to prevent anything from getting into your wound or in the cream itself. Cut the dressing to the appropriate size and use a sterile instrument to apply the cream onto the gauze.

    Sterilize the instrument or use one that is disposable for the next time. The amount of Silver Sulfadiazine Cream should be enough to cover the entire wound and the cream should be 1/16 inch in thickness. The cream may turn the gauze a brownish color when applied to fresh wounds.

    Moreover, Silver Sulfadiazine, in combination with chlorhexidine, is used on IV catheters for infection prevention. One such product is ARROWgard Blue Catheter manufactured by Arrow International.

Warning

  • Common side effects include skin rashes, discoloration and burning sensations. Pregnant women who are approaching or at term, premature babies and newborn infants should not use Silver Sulfadiazine Cream, as well as those allergic to sulfadiazine.

    Infants under the age of two months are at risk for kernicterus, a rare neurological condition that occurs with severe jaundice. Temporary leukopenia has also been reported in patients who have used this cream.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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