Silver has a long history of use in the world of medicine due to its antimicrobial properties. Clinicians, medical practitioners and healthcare facilities routinely use silver in a variety of forms to treat various wounds of the human body. Silver wound dressings come in several variants that includes sterile adhesive pads, films, bandages as well as combined wound dressings such as calcium alginate for increased wound healing potential and better moisture retention. Some of the types of silver wound dressings used for the treatment of various wounds are as follows:
- Anti – microbial silver dressings
- Silver nitrate dressings
- Silver alginate dressings
- Hydrofibre silver dressings
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Silver wound dressings can be used for the treatment of various ailments such as:
- Skin grafts
- Lacerations and cuts
- Skin irritations
- Skin ulcers
In terms of geography, North America accounts for the largest market for silver wound dressings owing to the large base of geriatric population and increased incidence of chronic wounds such as diabetes foot ulcer and gangrene. According to the International Diabetes Federation, 24.4 million people in the U.S. are suffering from diabetes with a prevalence rate of 10.9% as of 2013. It has been reported that 15% people suffering with diabetes has high risk of developing diabetic foot ulcer in their lifetime. However, other markets such as Europe and Asia-Pacific tends to witness high growth in this market owing to the increased incidence of chronic wounds associated with diabetes in the recent years.
The primary factor contributing in the growth of the market is the increase in incidence rate of chronic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, pressure sores and traumatic wounds. Furthermore, rising geriatric population and rise in disposable income levels are also expected to contribute in the overall growth of this market. However, factors such as, high development costs and reluctance in commercialization of advance products are impeding the overall growth of the silver wound dressings market.
Some of the major players in the silver wound dressings market are Argentum Medical, B. Braun Melsungen AG, ConvaTec Inc., Medline Industries Inc., Kinetic Concepts Inc., 3M Company, and Smith & Nephew plc.