The safety and efficacy of commonly used topical agents in the treatment of wound infections
Use of topical agents remained the primary mode of treatment of wound infections. The primary role of the use of topical agents in wounds is prevention and treatment of infections. Various topical agents are being used to treat wound infections. However, the safety and efficacy of many topical agents is a questionable issue. The commonly used topical agents are silver compounds, povidone-iodine, hydrogen peroxide, Dakin’s solution, chloroxylenol, polyhexamethylene biguanide, mafenide acetate, chlorhexidine, etc. The studies show that many topical agents in current use would not satisfy all the criteria of ideal topical agents and need to be evaluated in terms of safety and efficacy, which varies as every topical agent has a different spectrum of antimicrobial activity and adverse effects. In view of this, an attempt has been made to review the safety and efficacy of commonly used topical agents used for the treatment of wound infections. The literature review shows that almost all topical agents are inhibitory to bacteria and other microorganisms. However, many of them have been found to be toxic to cells involved in the wound-healing process, especially in in-vitro studies. Although found highly toxic in in-vitro studies, the majority of them have been shown to be safe clinically and not to influence the process of wound healing negatively.
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