Boric water is antiseptic and decongestant, useful in case of infections and irritation of the skin and mucous membranes, dry skin and eyes, insect bites
- What is it and what is it for
- When and how to use it
- Where to buy
- Contraindications and side effects
What it is and what it is for
Boric water is a disinfectant product composed of a very dilute solution of boric acid in purified water, with antibacterial, antifungal and decongestant action.
Generally boric water-based products are formulated with 3% boric acid, therefore they contain 3 grams of active ingredient dissolved in 100 milliliters of water, as well as added excipients as preservatives.
Boric water solutions are versatile and lend themselves to various uses. Boric water is used above all for the disinfection of the skin in case of minor burns, localized irritation and cracking but its use is also indicated for the hygiene of the eyes and ears. In fact, boric acid solutions are indicated for maintaining good cleaning of the ear canals, for treating otitis and for eye washes, in case of infections or to relieve redness and dryness due to foreign bodies or excessive fatigue.
In addition, thanks to its antibacterial properties, boric water is also recommended for vaginal fungal infections and for the treatment of boils caused by acne, excess sebum and folliculitis caused by shaving or hair removal.
When and how to use it
Boric water is used externally by carrying out local applications on the areas to be treated. Boric acid-based solutions are useful in case of minor sunburns or small domestic accidents and to soothe chapped, irritated, inflamed and dry skin. The use of boric water is also indicated to relieve itching and swelling in case of inflammation caused by stings from bees, mosquitoes, horseflies or other insects, preventing possible infections.
Boric water is also useful for treating acne boils or resulting from shaving, hair removal or epilation: waxing, razor and other methods to eliminate unwanted hair, can in fact inflame the hair bulbs causing folliculitis. To prevent this phenomenon, it is possible to use boric water to be applied before and after epilation, in order to avoid irritation and infections of the follicles.
Skin applications are carried out with cotton wool or small sponges and can be repeated once or twice a day. The 3% boric acid solutions can also be used on children over the age of three, as long as the use is not exceeded. In this case, boric water is useful for relieving diaper rashes, dry skin and insect bites.
For vaginal applications, boric water is not used but special products – including internal and external washes, pessaries and creams – to be used in the prevention and treatment of infections, including vaginal candida. In these cases, boric water would be excessively aggressive, while products formulated for intimate hygiene contain, in addition to properly dosed boric acid, other compounds capable of protecting the delicate vaginal environment.
Similarly, in case of irritation and infections in the eyes, sterile solutions are used, indicated for the ocular area.
Where to buy
Boric water is readily available in pharmacies and is available in different formats. In addition to the ready-to-use solution, in fact, on the market you can find single-dose sachets to dissolve in water, tampons and specific products based on boric acid. These include the preparations formulated for the treatment of vaginal infections, such as douches, creams and pessaries, as well as sterile solutions for hygiene and eye care and products that can be dosed in ear drops.
After purchase, boric water must be stored in a cool place, away from heat sources and out of the reach of children.
Contraindications and side effects
Boric water and products containing boric acid are formulated for external use and should not be ingested.
Skin applications with 3% boric water have no particular side effects or interactions, since boric acid is poorly absorbed in the skin and therefore has no systemic action. However, products containing boric acid should not be used on skin that has lesions, because in this case it would increase absorption.
Also be careful to use boric water in large quantities, in large areas of the body or for prolonged periods, to avoid accumulation toxicity. For the same reason, it is not recommended to apply boric water using patches, bandages or after applying creams or vegetable oils, which increase the permeability of the skin.
The use of boric water is then contraindicated in case of hypersensitivity to boric acid or to one or more excipients present, as well as in children under three years of age and in pregnant and lactating women.
In case of vaginal, ocular, ear canal infections or treatments on children, it is always advisable to consult a doctor before using boric water or other boric acid products.
Journal of Women's Health
The Journal of Laryngology & Otology