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What Are the Pros and Cons of Colloidal Silver for Acne?

Colloidal silver is touted for its antimicrobial properties, potentially reducing acne-causing bacteria. However, its effectiveness is debated, and overuse can lead to argyria, a permanent skin discoloration. It's crucial to weigh the potential benefits against the risks. Have you considered the long-term impact of using colloidal silver on your skin? Join us as we explore the balance of its pros and cons.
Anna B. Smith
Anna B. Smith

Using colloidal silver for acne can kill acne bacteria present on the surface of the skin, however, when this medication is taken for a long period of time, it has the potential to permanently discolor skin. The uses of colloidal silver, both internally and externally, tend to be controversial among many doctors and dermatologists. This type of medication is available over the counter without a prescription. It can be taken orally as a liquid, or applied directly to affected areas of the skin as a spray. Individuals with moderate to severe acne who are considering using this product should first consult with their dermatologist to avoid the possibility of potentially harmful side effects.

Colloidal silver is silver that has been altered, often using electricity, to reduce the size of each individual silver particle. These particles, once they have undergone a specialized treatment process, are small enough to pass easily in and out of the membranous walls of cells. They are also easily suspended in other liquids, such as water.

Colloidal silver kills a large percentage of the bacteria that causes acne, and it is then washed away with a gentle cleanser.
Colloidal silver kills a large percentage of the bacteria that causes acne, and it is then washed away with a gentle cleanser.

The surface area of each individual silver particle increases in size as a result of this process, though the overall molecule is reduced. When it is present in other cells, the silver acts to kill any bacteria, fungus, or harmful organisms it may come in contact with, without damaging the healthy tissues in which it is residing. Any overabundance of silver passes through skin tissues into the body, and is quickly eliminated as waste, eliminating the possibility of metal poisoning occurring.

Colloidal silver is available as an over-the-counter medication that can be taken orally or applied to acne-impacted areas as a spray.
Colloidal silver is available as an over-the-counter medication that can be taken orally or applied to acne-impacted areas as a spray.

The use of colloidal silver for acne topically has been shown to kill any acne bacteria present on the surface of the skin. When applied as a spray, potentially pore clogging bacteria and fungus is killed and can be washed away using standard daily facial cleansers. This does not guarantee an elimination of all acne, however, in sufferers.

All individuals possess different types of surface bacteria, including acne bacteria, living on the top layer of their skin. These bacteria only become harmful when lodged in pores and allowed to reproduce in an overabundance. Many dermatologists believe that the root cause of acne is an internal hormonal imbalance which cannot be treated topically. This imbalance is thought to create an ideal breeding ground for acne bacteria to grow in out-of-control proportions. Maintaining consistently clean skin, which colloidal silver does help to accomplish, can help reduce some of the appearances of acne, though it typically does not treat it long term.

Drinking plenty of water can help keep the skin hydrated and reduce the occurrence of acne.
Drinking plenty of water can help keep the skin hydrated and reduce the occurrence of acne.

Long term use of colloidal silver for acne is not recommended. When taken for sustained periods of time, silver can build up in the body. This build up leads to a discoloration of the skin, internal organs, eyes, and nails. Individuals who take colloidal silver for longer periods of time than approved by their doctors begin to appear bluish gray in color. This condition is known as argyria, and it typically does not go away once silver treatments have been stopped.

Applying a steamed towel to the face can help unclog the pores and reduce the occurrence of acne.
Applying a steamed towel to the face can help unclog the pores and reduce the occurrence of acne.

Many doctors prefer not to use colloidal silver for acne treatments due to its potentially dangerous long term side effect. Other over the counter medications, such as benzoyl peroxide, can be used to accomplish the same pore cleansing activities as this product. Benzoyl peroxide is equally effective in killing bacteria and fungus on the surface of the skin, and has only moderate side effects which do not include skin discoloration.

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Discussion Comments

anon994933

Nothing at all wrong with good colloidal silver. The problem is that much of the stuff on sale is not actually colloidal silver, but ionic silver. When correctly made, colloidal silver is a very effective form of treatment for many health problems. So effective, in fact, that it is used in the treatment of burns in hospital burns units. Argyria, or skin discoluration, is the result of consuming large quantities of poorly-made ionic silver. I make my own to an approved formula. Any silver which is sold with the instruction that it must be stored away from light, is not true colloidal silver. Yellow in color, genuine colloidal silver can be safely stored in clear glass containers without deteriorating.

anon991837

This is untrue. First, it's antibiotic. Never take it for more than 10 days and always take probiotics in between doses. Secondly, argyria (the blue skin) occurred prior to 1970 when manufacturers made colloidal silver with real silver and the particle size was far too large. That is not the case now. Research before you perpetuate old myths.

ZipLine

I took colloidal silver for a while for acne and it did absolutely nothing. Plus, I heard that colloidal silver deposits inside organs. I don't think it's very safe.

bluedolphin

I'm using colloidal silver for my acne and it's working great. My acne has almost entirely cleared up and it has only been a week. I use colloidal silver both internally and externally though. I drink a small amount every day and also apply it like a toner on my face. I highly recommend this to others with acne.

I don't know how long I will continue to use it for but I plan on using it unless I experience negative side effects. My colloidal silver is a high quality product from a reputable manufacturer so I'm not worried. I've heard that there are colloidal silver products on the market with varying degrees of quality. So it's important to be careful and read reviews before purchasing one, especially because it will be ingested.

burcidi

Colloidal silver is a remedy that works for many different things. It has antibacterial and antiviral properties. So it is effective for first-aid, as well as for treating mild infections. But I agree with the article that it's not a good idea to use it excessively or for very long periods of time. It can be used briefly to kill bacteria that leads to acne but it's not a cure.

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    • Colloidal silver kills a large percentage of the bacteria that causes acne, and it is then washed away with a gentle cleanser.
      By: ipag
      Colloidal silver kills a large percentage of the bacteria that causes acne, and it is then washed away with a gentle cleanser.
    • Colloidal silver is available as an over-the-counter medication that can be taken orally or applied to acne-impacted areas as a spray.
      By: Grigoriy Lukyanov
      Colloidal silver is available as an over-the-counter medication that can be taken orally or applied to acne-impacted areas as a spray.
    • Drinking plenty of water can help keep the skin hydrated and reduce the occurrence of acne.
      By: vgstudio
      Drinking plenty of water can help keep the skin hydrated and reduce the occurrence of acne.
    • Applying a steamed towel to the face can help unclog the pores and reduce the occurrence of acne.
      By: miya227
      Applying a steamed towel to the face can help unclog the pores and reduce the occurrence of acne.
    • Colloidal silver may not treat long-term acne.
      By: Ocskay Bence
      Colloidal silver may not treat long-term acne.
    • Acne most often affects teenagers who are going through puberty.
      By: Luis Louro
      Acne most often affects teenagers who are going through puberty.
    • Long-term use of colloidal silver for acne may permanently discolor skin.
      By: vladimirfloyd
      Long-term use of colloidal silver for acne may permanently discolor skin.