Due to the rapid growth of drug-resistant bacterial infections, there is an urgent need to develop innovative antimicrobial strategies to conquer the bacterial antibiotic resistance problems. Although a few nanomaterial-based antimicrobial strategies have been developed, the sensitized formation of cytotoxic reactive chlorine species (RCS), including chlorine gas and chlorine free radicals, by photo-activatable plasmonic nanoparticles for evading drug-resistant bacterial infections has not yet been reported. To address this challenge, herein, we report the synthesis of an unprecedented plasmonic core-shell Ag@AgCl nanocrystal through an in situ oxidation route for the photo-induced generation of highly cytotoxic RCS. We present the detailed in vitro and in vivo investigations of visible light activated Ag@AgCl nanostructure-mediated evasion of drug-resistant bacteria. In particular, the in vivo results demonstrate the complete reepithelialization of the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infected wounds on skin upon phototherapeutic treatment mediated Ag@AgCl NCs. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first unique example of using Ag@AgCl NCs as an external nanomedicine for photo-induced generation of RCS to mediate effective killing of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative drug resistance bacteria and healing of the subcutaneous abscesses in an in vivo mouse model. © 2020 The Royal Society of Chemistry.