The Current State of Topical Burn Treatments: a Review
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Purpose of Review
The purpose of this review is to discuss commonly used dressings for burn treatments, including short-acting topicals and long-acting silver dressings.
Recent literature supports the use of long-acting silver dressings over traditional daily use topical treatments. Longer acting topical dressings result in less frequent dressing changes, less pain, and greater ease of use, but have similar results in wound healing and infection prevention.
There are many topical agents on the market for use on burn wounds. Short-acting topicals can be divided into 3 generalized classes: antiseptics, antimicrobials, and enzymatic debridement agents. Longer acting applied dressings include silver-bonded nylon and fiber (Silverlon® Argentum, Clarendon Hills, IL); multilayer rayon, polyester silver-coated mesh polyethylene (Acticoat™ Smith & Nephew London, UK); silver sodium carboxymethylcellulose (Aquacel® Ag, ConvaTec, Greensboro, NC); silver-containing soft silicone foam (Mepilex® Ag; Mölnlycke Health Care, Gothenburg); soft silicone silver (Mepitel Ag® Mölnlycke Health Care, Gothenburg). Tradition and surgeon preference are major influences on frequency of use. While recent literature supports using long-acting silver-based dressings over short-acting topicals, more research, particularly randomized controlled trials, is needed to provide evidence-based recommendations regarding their use.
KeywordsBurn topicals Silver burn dressing Silver sulfadiazine Mepilex Ag Aquacel Ag Acticoat Mepitel Ag
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Dr. Haith has nothing to disclose. Dr. Hashmi has nothing to disclose.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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