Antiseptic resistance: antimicrobial stewardship and silver dressings

2017, Vol 8, No 2, pages 27–31

Antibiotic resistance has become a global problem. Antibiotic stewardship has been widely accepted and introduced into clinical practice, but does not include stewardship of antiseptics, particularly those used to prevent and treat infection in chronic wound care. Antiseptics such as polyhexamethylene biguanide, chlorhexidine, povidone iodine and silver are potent, have multicentric actions and are rapidly effective. Silver quickly and effectively kills a wide spectrum of microorganisms. This literature review strongly advocates that all antiseptics should be included in antimicrobial stewardship programmes, just as antibiotics are, as the theoretical risk of antiseptic resistance is less of a threat than the overuse of antibiotics.


  • CD Roberts

    Principal Consultant , Clinical Resolutions Wound Care, UK

  • DJ Leaper

    Emeritus Professor of Surgery, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK