Anti-Inflammatory Effect Of Topical Nanocrystalline Silver Cream On Allergic Contact Dermatitis In A Guinea Pig Model

This clinical study, published in May 2004 in the journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, demonstrated that a topical nanosilver cream was used to heal allergic contact dermatitis induced in guinea pigs via application of a chemical organic compound called dinitrochlorobenzene. Essentially, the researchers used a chemical organic compound to cause dermatitis on the guinea pigs.

The researchers wrote, “Dermatitis was induced with dinitrochlorobenzene and treated with different concentrations of nanocrystalline silver, medium and high potency steroids, tacrolimus and pimecrolimus, or appropriate vehicles once daily for 5 days. Erythema was evaluated daily (on a score of 0 to 4, from absent to very severe) and histopathology of the skin biopsies was evaluated after 5 days of treatment.”

Then they treated the condition on the guinea pigs with nanosilver, as well as with topical steroid drugs normally used to treat dermatitis, and with two different topical immunosuppressant drugs frequently used in the treatment of stubborn cases of atopic dermatitis (eczema). The researchers further wrote, “Prior to treatment, the average scores of erythema in all the groups were in the range of 3(+) to 4(+). In the no treatment and vehicles groups these scores remained at about this level for the subsequent 5 days of the study. Nanocrystalline silver reduced erythema within 1 day of treatment in a concentration-dependent manner with significant reduction at silver concentrations of 0.5% and 1% (P < 0.05) and this reduction progressed throughout the study period.” This means the “no treatment” groups saw no healing of the dermatitis at all, over a five day period. But within only one day of treatment with the nanosilver cream, “significant reduction” of the redness and swelling (erythema) that characterizes atopic dermatitis were observed on the guinea pigs.

The researchers concluded, “Steroids and immunosuppressants produced similar decreases in erythema, with no significant differences compared to 0.5% and 1% nanocrystalline silver. In skin biopsies scored for degree of inflammatory response, effects of treatments mirrored erythema results. This study suggests that nanocrystalline silver cream may have therapeutic potential for topical treatment of inflammatory skin diseases.” In other words, the researchers discovered that the nanosilver cream worked just as well as the topical steroids normally used in the treatment of atopic dermatitis, and even as well as the topical immunosuppressant treatments used in stubborn cases of atopic dermatitis. This is very important news, of course, because the known side effects of topical steroids (including weakened immunity) and topical immunosuppressant drugs (including inducement of skin cancers) can be devastating. Topical use of silver, by comparison, has relatively few side effects.

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