Silver nitrate is toxic to living cells.
For the purpose of killing cells, including viruses and bacteria, silver nitrate is very effective.
Applied topically, it is easily controlled, economical and usually painless.
For medicinal purposes, silver nitrate is fused with potassium nitrate to dilute and give mechanical strength. Mixtures containing 40%, 63%, 75% or 95% silver nitrate are typical.
Chemically silver nitrate is a simple inorganic salt. Biochemically it acts as an astringent and a caustic (keratolytic, escharotic) due to (a) the ability of the silver ion (Ag+) to bind to proteins causing the denaturation of the molecules, and (b) the oxidising properties of the ion.
Bray Group has decades of experience in manufacturing medical caustics – Silver Nitrate Caustic Pencils and Silver Nitrate Caustic Applicators.