Is using colloidal silver topically good for acne? Does colloidal silver help acne scars? Should you at all use colloidal to treat acne? Well, colloidal silver acne treatment is a controversial topic with health and alternative health practitioners and organizations taking hard stands on both ends of the divide. Today we investigate the link between colloidal silver and acne and explore the different ways in which you can safely use this alternative acne (and other skin conditions) treatment remedy to cure pimples, cysts, and scars.
What Is Colloidal Silver?
- 1 What Is Colloidal Silver?
- 2 Claimed Colloidal Silver Acne Healing Benefits
- 3 Should You Use Colloidal Silver for Acne Treatment?
- 4 Side effects of Colloidal Silver Acne Treatment
- 5 How to Use Colloidal Silver for Acne
- 6 Colloidal Silver Dosage (ppm) For Acne
- 7 Where to Buy Colloidal Silver for Acne Treatment
- 8 Colloidal Silver Acne Before and After Photos
- 9 References
According to National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), colloidal silver is a preparation containing very tiny particles of silver suspended in demineralized water or any other liquid.
Also known as electro-colloidal silver, it is claimed to have broad-spectrum antimicrobial action. It has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties and is available in solutions (suspensions really), gels, serums, and soaps.
Proponents of colloid silver say that it kills single-celled organisms e.g. bacteria, yeast etc. without causing any harm to multi-celled organisms e.g. humans when used at low concentrations. It is claimed to be effective for treatment of over 650 medical conditions.
In fact, according to HopinforHealth, colloidal silver was the most commonly used antibiotic prior to the discovery of penicillin. It is claimed that the U.S. military personnel still carries silver dressing to battlefields. Away from the military, alternative medicine practitioners used colloidal silver for acne, sore throat, food poisoning, gastrointestinal, diabetes, shingles, and ear infection treatment among others.
Bacterial resistance has triggered increased interest in research on colloidal silver. The discourse for this paradigm change was staged by the publishing of an article titled “Our Mightiest Germ Fighter” in 1978 issue of Science Digest.
Claimed Colloidal Silver Acne Healing Benefits
Colloidal silver is touted to help cure acne breakouts. To put colloidal silver acne treatment into perspective, let us start by reiterating what acne is.
Acne occurs when factors such as hormonal changes (leading to increased sebum production) and poor diet (e.g. high glycemic foods) cause plugs in skin pores comprising of dead skin cells and sebum (skin oil).
Clogging of skin pores causes skin bumps called whiteheads and blackheads.
The usually harmless skin bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) often get involved leading to inflammation and redness. This then results in pustules (true acne pimples) and cysts (painful, deep lesions).
According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Health Information Organization, topical application of colloidal silver can help to treat acne. Colloidal silver acne treatment is hinged upon its ability to fight off the bacterial infection associated with acne. This is claimed to not only stop existing acne pimples but also prevent the formation of new ones.
By increasing the inflammation and redness due to bacterial infection, you can help to reduce the appearance of existing acne scars. By promoting faster healing, you also prevent new scars.
Should You Use Colloidal Silver for Acne Treatment?
Oral intake (drinking) of colloidal silver is a hugely controversial topic. Some alternative medicine websites and books say that colloidal silver is effective for acne when used both topically and orally.
However, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, “Silver has no known function or benefits in the body when taken by mouth”. This thought is shared by the Mayo Clinic which says that silver is not an essential nutrient and is not considered safe or effective for treatment of health conditions that manufacturers claim; there is no sufficient evidence to support this claims.
Pursuant to this, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a ruling against the marketing of over the counter colloidal silver and silver products for the treatment of medical conditions, instead labeling them as dietary supplements products. Not surprising, colloidal silver is also not listed in UK drug guides and E.U. approve foods list.
Still, there is extensive anecdotal evidence to support medicinal use of colloidal silver. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health agrees to the benefits of topical application of colloidal silver saying that when used on bandages and dressings, it helps to treat burns and skin infections. In newborn babies, preparations that contain colloidal silver are effective against conjunctivitis.
The Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Health Information Organization also argues in favor of colloidal silver acne treatment so long as you use it topically (apply it on the skin).
Side effects of Colloidal Silver Acne Treatment
Some people say that colloidal silver will cure pimples and cysts in record time. Before you use colloidal silver for acne treatment, however, it is vitally important that you are aware of the side effects associated with this alternative treatment.
According to The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, argyria is the most common side effect of colloidal silver. This condition is characterized by an irreversible, bluish-gray discoloration of the skin and is caused by excessive use of colloidal silver leading to accumulation of silver in the skin, nails, gums, eyes and other organs. While not a health concern, argyria is a beauty concern and may add to the emotional distress already caused by acne.
Watch the video below for a story of Paul Karason, who turned bluish after using colloidal silver topically and internally for over 15 years. He died in 2013 from a heart attack.
Other Side Effects of Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver may also impede the absorption of certain medications e.g. thyroxine, penicillamine, tetracycline, and quinolone. Although rarely, colloidal silver may cause other side effects such as kidney damage and seizures when taken in excessive doses (dosage) as the Mayo Clinic points out.
How to Use Colloidal Silver for Acne
Based on the arguments raised by health specialists and organizations, topical application is your best bet for colloidal silver acne treatment. Here are the various ways in which you can use colloidal silver to treat and get rid of acne pimples and cysts:
- With the help of a spray bottle, spray colloidal silver on the face or other affected parts of the skin two times each day preferably in the morning and evening.
- Alternatively, apply a colloidal silver gel or ointment on the treatment area and leave it on the face overnight. Gels and ointments are usually thicker and stay active for longer but they should be used for a short period to avoid skin discoloration (argyria).
- Use a colloidal silver soap as a daily cleanser or rinse to treat acne and reduce the appearance of scars.
Colloidal Silver Dosage (ppm) For Acne
How much colloidal silver to take for acne? Well, the concentration of colloidal silver, in ppm (parts per million) essentially varies from one manufacturer to the other but most products come with a concentration of 10 ppm.
For colloidal silver products with 10 ppm, the manufacturers generally recommend a dosage of between 50ml and 60ml for effective treatment and then cutting down to a maintenance dose of between 20ml and 30ml each day.
Now, wait a minute! Doesn’t this whole dosage thing describe oral intake of colloidal silver? Yes, it does. And should you use colloidal silver orally to treat acne? The Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Health Information Organization doesn’t think so. So, please stick to topical application of a 10 ppm colloidal silver twice daily to be on the safe side.
Where to Buy Colloidal Silver for Acne Treatment
As a natural, mineral “supplement”, colloidal silver is widely available in health food stores. You can also make your own at home with a device referred to as a colloidal silver generator. If none of these two options is favorable to you, you may check with Amazon. Among the most popular colloidal silver products – which make for good bets for treating acne – are:
- Sovereign Silver
- Kaiame Naturals Colloidal Silver
- Silver Miracles Colloidal Silver Gel
- Silver Miracles Colloidal Silver Soap
Colloidal Silver Acne Before and After Photos
This article by Daily Mail provides the best insight into what colloidal silver can do for acne scars and lesions. It is a befitting source of our first before and after picture for colloidal silver acne treatment:
Some more before and after photos from people who have used colloidal silver for acne pimples and spots as obtained from the internet are included below:
What is your take on colloidal silver acne treatment? Would you consider it? Please share with the community in the comments section.
- HopinforHealth: The Rediscovery of Colloidal Silver the Super Antibiotic
- Mayo Clinic: Colloidal Silver for Health, Is it Safe?
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH): Colloidal Silver
- PubMed: Over-the-counter drug products containing colloidal silver ingredients or silver salts. Final Rule
- Silver Medicine: External Silver Use
- Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Health Information Organization: Colloidal Silver