100 Silver Nitrate Sticks (Caustic Pencils)
Silver nitrate sticks are a firm wooden stick that contain 75% silver nitrate and 25% potassium nitrate used to chemically cauterize skin. Silver nitrate sticks activate when these two ingredients are mixed with moisture (drop of water) a chemical reaction happens and when applied the skin, hemostasis or permanently destroying unwanted tissue such as a wart, skin tag, aphthous ulcers, or over-production of granulation tissue. They are not used as a treatment for minor skin cuts, and should not to be confused with a styptic pencil. Uses include nongenital warts and verrucas, granulation tissue, wound healing, stoma maintenance, umbilical stumps, cautery, anterior epistaxis, vasomotor rhinitis, post-bioptic cervical nicks, skin tags and pain relief for aphthous stomatitis.
Silver nitrate is commonly employed as a caustic antiseptic and an astringent. Potassium nitrate has been used as a topical antiseptic on mucous membranes. The degree of action depends upon the concentration employed and the period of time during which the compound is allowed to act. The silver nitrate is precipitated by chloride thus washing with a sodium chloride solution can quickly neutralize the action of the silver ions.
The silver nitrate and potassium nitrates in caustic stick is in a dried, solid form at the tip of a wooden or plastic stick. When the material is applied to a wound or lesion, the tissue moisture or blood dissolves the dried nitrate salts, which then chemically burn the tissue. It requires moisture for activation.
How to Apply Silver Nitrate Sticks
One drop of water is sufficient to treat two square inches of tissue. Place a single drop of water, or more if required, on a clean non-absorbent surface. Moisten the applicator tip with sterile distilled water and apply the silver nitrate to the affected are by holding, rubbing, or rotating the tip along the affected tissue. Gently stir the tip of a pencil/applicator in the drop of water for about 20 to 30 seconds. The strength of the action is controlled by the dilution with distilled water. One silver nitrate applicator is generally sufficient for each application.
Note: Silver salts stain tissue black due to deposition of reducing silver. The stain gradually disappears within a period of two weeks.
Silver nitrate sticks are often used for minor bleeding where patients are not under general anesthesia, and where electrocautery pens would be painful and inconvenient. One common use of silver nitrate sticks is in Emergency Medicine, to control epistaxis (nosebleed). The stick is rolled on the affected mucous membrane or visible blood vessel in the nares (nostril) where the chemical cauterization stops the minor bleeding.
If the bleeding is too copious, the chemical cautery may not be effective, as the flowing blood can wash away the chemical before it can react with the tissue. It can also be accidentally spread to undesirable locations where it can cause skin staining and tissue burns. This is especially important, as it is often used in the nose where accidental aerosolization can occur, splattering the clinician or other parts of the patient and causing unintentional burns. Accidental application to unintended tissue is treated with copious water irrigation.
Chemical formula: AgNO
Purpose: Astringent, cauterization of wounds, germicidal, removal of unwanted skin tissue, corns and warts.
Dosage: Children and Adults: Sticks: Apply to mucous membranes and other moist skin surfaces only on area to be treated.
Avaliable sizes: (6", 12" and 18") lengths
Silver Nitrate Sticks are commonly used in healthcare facilities to help remove tissue, and to cauterize areas such as nose bleeds or post bioptic cervical nicks. These silver nitrate applicators are unique because they can be molded to suit your patient’s individual need without the worry of splinters. They are hygienic, have a lengthy 2 year shelf life, and are easy to use.
What are warts?
Warts are small harmless tumors of the skin caused by a virus. Most are well-defined. Warts are categorized by location and appearance.
Types of Warts and locations on the body commonly found:
Common (verruca vulgaris)
- Rough, elevated, rounded surface
- Appears most commonly on limbs, particularly hands and fingers
- Most prevalent in children and young adults
- Single, thin, threadlike projection
- Commonly occurs around the face and neck
- Rough, irregularly shaped, elevated surface
- Occurs around edges of fingernails and toenails
- When severe, may extend under the nail and lift it off the nail bed, causing pain
- Multiple groupings of to several hundred slightly raised lesions with smooth, flat, or slightly rounded tops
- Common on the face, neck, chest, knees, dorsa of hands, wrists, and flexor surfaces of the forearms
- Usually in children but can affect adults
- Distribution usually linear because spreading possible from scratching or shaving
- Slightly elevated or flat
- Occur singly or in large custers (mosaic warts), primarily at pressure points of the feet
- Fingerlike, horny projection arising from a pea-shaped base
- On scalp or near hairline
Condyloma acuminatum (moist wart)
- Usually small, pink to red, moist, and soft
- Single or in large cauliflower-like clusters on the penis, scrotum, vulva, or anus
May be transmitted through sexual contact; not always venereal in origin
Complications with removal: Scarring, Recurrence of wart and formation of keloid
Other treatment options:
- General: Cryotherapy
- Surgery: Electrodesiccation and curettage (removing warts by electrosurgery)
- Carbon dioxide laser therapy
When you need a silver nitrate applicator to take care of a wound, Grafco by Graham Field applicator tips are the product of choice. Not only do they come in convenient packaging that make them easy to store, find and use, but they also are soluble in all solutions so the strength can be adjusted to your liking. Simply dip the applicator tip into sterile water until you have reached the silver nitrate strength you need. Also, each tip features a sturdy wooden applicator for easy, accurate use.
Warnings: KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN. Ingredients are poisonous and may be fatal when ingested in sufficient doses. Only use on treated area. Avoid all contact with eyes. Eye contact, hold eyes open and immediately flush thoroughly with water for at least 15 minutes and consult a physician.
When using always wear protective gloves and never use around eyes. If eye is exposed, First: wash out eye with warm water for at least 15 minutes and then call your physician or go to the nearest emergency room. The active Ingredients are poisonous and may be fatal when ingested in sufficient doses. The symptoms include toxic gastroenteritis. Always use disposable nitrile gloves when handling silver nitrate and potassium nitrate.