Uses for Silver Sulfadiazine Cream

Silver sulfadiazine cream is a sulfa drug that kills bacteria and yeast organisms that cause wound infections, particularly in severe burns or where dead tissue may be present. Silver sulfadiazine is for topical application only. It is typically applied in a layer 3 to 5 mm thick. The cream may need to be reapplied if it rubs off on bedding or clothing. The burned area is usually continually covered with a layer of the cream for the best protection and quickest healing. Wear sterile disposable gloves when applying the cream, and always follow your doctor's instructions for treating burns.

Severe Thermal Burns

A gloved hand treating a burn wound. (Image: Ocskaymark/iStock/Getty Images)

Silver sulfadiazine may be used as the primary topical wound treatment for second- and third-degree burns. This cream eliminates bacteria and yeast that cause skin infections during the healing process. A layer of the cream is typically kept on wounds continuously, with cleansing of the site and reapplication twice a day. Severe burns with necrotic tissue present require debridement -- removal of dead tissue by a health care provider. Silver sulfadiazine cream may be applied with sterile gloves immediately following the procedure.

Chemical Burns

Silver sulfadiazine cream is effective in treating dermal chemical burns. It is used similarly as treatment for thermal burns -- removal of necrotic tissue and daily cleansing are essential to maintaining an environment for healing. A layer of silver sulfadiazine cream keeps the area free of infection.

Sunburn

Severe sunburn with blisters is a second-degree burn. Silver sulfadiazine cream may be applied to blistered sunburn as for other types of burns. You may be instructed to wash the area daily, and reapply the cream twice a day. If a secondary infection occurs, it is usually late in the healing process -- use the cream for as long as your doctor advises.

Stasis Dermatitis

Stasis dermatitis is a skin inflammation of the lower legs caused by pooled venous blood. This may be caused by poor circulation from phlebitis or lymphatic disorders, which can cause inflammation and cell death that may result in skin lesions. Silver sulfadiazine cream is sometimes recommended to aid the healing of such lesions.

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