Silver sulfadiazine (INN, or silvadene) is a topical sulfonamide/silver antibacterial used as a topical burn cream on burns. It prevents the growth of a wide array of bacteria, as well as yeast, on the damaged skin.
The chemical itself is poorly soluble, and has only very limited penetration through the skin. Only when applied to large area burns or other lesions is absorption into the body a problem.
Incorporation of the silver ions can lead to local argyria (discoloration of the skin), especially if the treated area is exposed to ultraviolet. Skin and mucous membranes (such as the gums) may become blue/gray in color. Generalised argyria with silver accumulation in kidneys, liver and retina has only been found in association with excessive long-term use.