Dissolving Myths Around Colloidal Silver and Argyria: Are They Linked?
Colloidal silver is rapidly rising in popularity for its use in dietary supplements and beauty products. If you've heard of colloidal silver, you might have also heard about some debates regarding its safety and use.
Many people are concerned that using silver might turn their skin blue, a condition known as argyria. This condition isn't lethal or deadly, but it does involve a bluish-grey discoloration of your skin that occurs due to the buildup of silver particles in the skin or body.
But can true colloidal silver really cause argyria?
Firstly, it's important to realize that factors such as the type of silver and method of usage matter when determining whether or not silver is likely to cause this side effect. Thus, the understanding that the topical use of pure, high-quality colloidal silver can lead to discoloration of your skin isn't accurate.
If you're concerned about the side effects of topical colloidal silver use, you're at the right place. We'll walk you further through the safety and benefits of using colloidal silver in tackling skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis.
Table of Contents:
- Can Topical Colloidal Silver Cause Argyria?
- How Can Colloidal Silver Help with Seborrheic Dermatitis?
- Why is Colloidal Silver Included in the Calming Seborrheic Serum?
Can Topical Colloidal Silver Cause Argyria?
There is zero evidence that using colloidal silver topically can cause argyria or any unwanted side effects.
There are only two potential causes of blue skin: silver salts and silver sulfadiazine. Both are completely different compounds from colloidal silver. However, even medical sources like WebMD have wrongfully grouped them all together under the label of "colloidal silver." In reality, they are separate substances entirely.
Silver salts are made by combining silver flakes with acids and other chemicals. Silver nitrate is one such silver salt that has been linked to argyria . The famous "blue man" (Paul Karason) permanently changed the color of his skin by ingesting large amounts of these silver salts that he made at home. At Dermazen, we never use or recommend silver salts.
Silver sulfadiazine is a topical antibiotic cream used to prevent infections in burn injuries. Using large amounts of this cream over time has been shown to cause blue skin in some people, especially when they neglect wearing sunscreen. But again, silver sulfadiazine is completely separate from colloidal silver and never used in any of our formulas.
On the other hand, true colloidal silver is made by placing 99.9% pure silver rods or plates into purified water and using an electrolysis machine to send small currents of electricity through the silver. This creates microscopic silver ions, which combine with water molecules to create a safe, natural solution that has been used across the world for over a century. It's even used in hospitals to prevent wound infections.
It's also worth noting that argyria is an extremely rare condition. Millions of people use colloidal silver every year, both topically and internally. Do a quick online search, and you likely will not find any statistics or data on the "number of cases per year" like you can with other conditions. In the words of the medical journal Dermatology Times, "Given the extremely rare nature of argyria, there is no reported prevalence statistics of argyria." 
If colloidal silver itself (not silver salts or silver sulfadiazine) was actually turning skin blue, there would be a reported average number of cases per year.
To sum it up, true colloidal silver completely differs from other silver substances, such as silver salts and silver sulfadiazine. Plus, agyria is very rare. Because of this, it is extremely unlikely that the use of topical colloidal silver can contribute to the bluish discoloration of the skin.
How Can Colloidal Silver Help with Seborrheic Dermatitis?
Not only is true colloidal silver safe, it's also highly effective at neutralizing fungal biofilms and weakening the fungus itself.
This comes in especially handy when dealing with seborrheic dermatitis, a skin condition that has been linked to the Malassezia fungi.
The Malassezia fungi typically exist on your skin without causing much trouble. However, this fungus feeds on oily substances known as sebum that are produced by glands in your skin. As it feeds, fatty acids are left behind, and this can disrupt your skin barrier function and lead to irritation. Scientists suggest that this mechanism contributes to the development of seborrheic dermatitis .
Clearing away Malassezia is a key step to improving seborrheic dermatitis, but this fungus has its own defense mechanism called a biofilm . The biofilm serves as a protective barrier that shields the fungus from outside threats such as your antifungal shampoos and medications. This is why it's crucial to deactivate the biofilm to effectively manage seborrheic dermatitis.
Colloidal silver plays this essential role in tackling the Malassezia biofilm so the rest of the antifungal agents can get to work with much less hindrance.
One publication has highlighted silver's ability to reduce biofilms produced by the Candida fungus . Another report has found that silver is effective against various types of biofilms and is a promising solution for managing biofilm-related infections .
Another published research study has found that colloidal silver successfully enhanced the efficacy of an antifungal medication called ketoconazole compared to the treatment without silver. Researchers concluded that the addition of silver could boost treatment outcomes, reduce the number of applications needed, and prevent the recurrence of Malassezia-related conditions .
Why is Colloidal Silver Included in the Calming Seborrheic Serum?
Because of the safety and anti-biofilm properties of true colloidal silver, we've included it in Dermazen's Calming Seborrheic Serum. We only use high-quality, third-party tested colloidal silver in our serum. Adding ingredients that have the ability to target the biofilm can help boost the effects of the serum in clearing away the Malassezia fungus.
The Dermazen team—and many of our friends and family members—use our own products on a daily basis with great results and no side effects.
We've been using the Calming Seborrheic Serum for years, longer than anyone else. If there were any signs of potential danger or harm from using colloidal silver in our product, we would have certainly removed it.
After years of research and personal use, we have found true colloidal silver to be both safe and effective. We hope that all the confusion online will be cleared up one day, but until then, you now know more about colloidal silver than 99.9% of people.