Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science


Emergency Medicine, Primary Care, General Surgery


Mary Walton, DMSc, PA


Thermal burns are skin injuries from excessive heat. For many years, the standard of care for topical treatment of partial-thickness thermal burns has been silver sulfadiazine, with the silver ion providing antimicrobial and bactericidal properties. In high concentrations, silver has also shown to be cytotoxic to fibroblasts and thus impairs wound healing. Aloe, petrolatum gel, honey, and solid dressings such as Aquacel® Ag, Acticoat®, and Biobrane® are examples of alternative therapies that have shown increased efficacy in wound healing, decreased pain, decreased infection rates, and improved patient satisfaction, demonstrating preferred options to silver sulfadiazine. As a result, studies support that sulfadiazine no longer be the standard of care in topical burn treatment. This article reviews silver sulfadiazine versus novel topical treatment options for partial-thickness thermal burns.


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