Colloidal Silver

Colloidal Silver has been used in Naturopathic and Alternative Medicine for many years. Some people consume Colloidal Silver suspensions orally, although it is more commonly applied topically when used as an acne treatment.

Colloidal Silver is often used in the preparations of Naturopathic anti-acne face masks that also contain other active ingredients, such as clays, essential oils or honey. Many people have reported that topical Colloidal Silver treatments helped to improve their acne symptoms, but very little clinical research has been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of Colloidal Silver as an acne treatment.

Evangelists of Colloidal Silver claim that it has an array of health benefits. Although many of these claims are probably not true, one thing that is supported by significant research is the antibacterial activity of silver. Research studies have clearly shown that colloidal silver itself is toxic to many types of bacteria.

Silver can be incorporated into wound dressings, catheters and stents where it helps to decrease infection. Silver is also included in certain topical antibiotic formulations, such as Silver Sulfadiazine.

Despite claims to the contrary, there is little evidence to support the use Colloidal Silver as an oral supplement. There is no scientific research indicating that oral supplementation of colloidal silver is helpful in the treatment of acne. In addition, ingesting significant amounts of colloidal silver can lead to permanent pigmentation of the skin in a condition called argyria.


The bactericidal effect of silver nanoparticles. Morones, et al. 2005.
Evaluation of silver nanoparticle toxicity in skin in vivo and keratinocytes in vitro. Samberg, et al. 2010.
A review of the use of silver in wound care: facts and fallacies. Lansdown. 2004.
Silver nanoparticles: synthesis methods, bio-applications and properties. Abbasi, et al. 2016.
Silver in medicine: the basic science. Marx, et al. 2014.
Genotoxicity, acute oral and dermal toxicity, eye and dermal irritation and corrosion and skin sensitisation evaluation of silver nanoparticles. Kim, et al. 2013.
Chemical preparation of the eye in ophthalmic surgery: II. Effectiveness of mild silver protein solution. Isenberg, et al. 1983.
Anti-acne, anti-dandruff and anti-breast cancer efficacy of green synthesised silver nanoparticles using Coriandrum sativum leaf extract. Sathishkumar, et al. 2016.