Colloidal silver spray is a liquid solution of water and very tiny, suspended silver particles. The spray is touted for its antibacterial properties and is often claimed as alternative medicine method for boosting the immune system. In spray form, colloidal silver is used as an antibacterial, topical solution to treat or prevent fungus infections on the skin. Although there is no consistent scientific evidence that supports the health benefits of colloidal silver spray, it is true that silver does have germ-killing properties. Besides its use as an antibacterial, this spray is sometimes used as a body deodorant, to treat ringworm and as a shoe deodorant to kill the microbes that cause foot odor.
One of the dangers of colloidal silver spray use is argyria, an irreversible condition in which the skin becomes blue or gray. Silver from colloidal silver spray is absorbed into the skin and accumulates over time. When exposed to sunlight, the silver in the skin darkens, causing a bluish cast. Colloidal silver spray also might interfere with the body's ability to absorb prescription medicines and might cause kidney damage, digestive tract problems and neurological problems in sensitive individuals.
Silver was historically used by the Greeks and Romans and throughout history. Vessels made of silver held water and other liquids to maintain freshness. Pioneers in 18th century America dropped silver coins in wooden barrels to prevent bacteria and algae from contaminating the water or milk. Australian outback settlers placed pieces of silverware in their cisterns. In the 19th and 20th centuries, medical practitioners dropped silver nitrate in newborns' eyes to prevent blindness, and silver was an important ingredient in wound dressings, nasal drops and tonics, and it was used as a mineral supplement.
Until antibiotics were developed in the 1950s, silver was widely used for medical remedies. Today, silver is a component for sanitizing swimming pool water and for purifying water for astronauts in space. As a colloidal base used externally, silver is non-toxic and performs like a topical antibacterial spray.