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Silver dressings for nipple wound?

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  • Silver dressings for nipple wound?

    Greetings. I have been having remarkable results with many moms using Silverettes, a European solid silver nipple shield. About 80% of moms who have used them have had partial to full skin regrowth and healing within 24 hours. One mom I worked with did not have such an astonishing result, possible because of the shape of her nipple.
    Her baby is now 6 months old. Six weeks ago he had a cold and ear infection and is still very congested. He is also teething. Consequently, he has bitten a hole through the skin at the base of her nipple. This hole has not closed up in 4 weeks. There's a pit about the size of a matchhead of open wound, surrounded by thicker skin. Mom has been putting neosporin on it. Obviously it's very painful.
    I suggested a 48 hour nipple vacation with pumping only, as it is very difficult to find a position where he's not putting a tooth into this wound.
    I was wondering about a topical silver treatment, such as a silver-infused bandage or a silver solution. I'm very hesitant to use the colloidal silver on nipples as I don't know what the transfer into the baby would be. I don't want the babies turning blue. I'm very curious what your thoughts are. thank you!

  • #2
    Dear Betsy,

    We do not think using colloidal silver on the nipple is a good idea, if infant ingests any of it orally, then he is at risk of developing Argyria. Furthermore, it is generally believed that Argyria is an irreversible condition. This is a possibly hazardous medication, and should be avoided by breastfeeding mothers.

    Tassneem Abdel Karim MD
    InfantRisk Center
    Last edited by admin; 02-10-2014, 09:00 AM.


    • #3
      I have a similar (but slightly different situation). PTP. Mom is about 6-8 weeks postpartum. She developed a breast abscess about 4 weeks ago - it was incised and drained, she had a course of antibiotics and the wound (about 2-3 cm diameter) was slowly healing by second intention. All seemed to be going well, until a secondary infection of the wound occurred. She is being followed by a wound care clinic. She had briefly used a Silver impregnated dressing (Biotaine Ag) but when we inquired with Motherisk (Canadian resource) they advised against using a silver dressing, partially based on the Medications and Mother's Milk info. Mom is latching baby to the other breast and pumping the affected breast. The wound is far enough away from the nipple that the pump flange doesn't come into direct contact with the dressing. The main concern would be the potential absorption of the silver via the wound and into the milk. Today, a second nurse called Motherisk (she wasn't aware I had made the inquiry already) and she was told it was safe. Can you shed any light on this?
      Many thanks, Meggie
      Last edited by Meggie Ross; 07-05-2016, 12:06 PM. Reason: update: I don't think it makes a difference, but mom is now latching to both breasts (but baby's mouth doesn't touch the dressing).