Dr. Josh Johnston, OD, FAAO
Hypochlorous acid has shown high efficacy against a wide range of microorganisms, helping to fight infection, reduce inflammation, control the body’s response to injury, and enhance its natural ability to heal. The question for doctors is what differentiates one formula from the next and when should we recommend these solutions?
When to use hypochlorous acid
Hypochlorous acid has a multitude of uses. I recommend the solution quite frequently and find it to be particularly helpful, especially in the following cases:
EYE CARE TIP
Benefits of hypochlorous acid
Selecting a solution
Several new hypochlorous products have been released, but they’re not all the same. When choosing a solution, it’s important to look closely at the ingredients. If patients will use the solution long term or are prone to irritation, look for a product that contains no alcohol, oil, sulfates, parabens or added fragrance.
Shelf life is another key differentiator. A product’s shelf life can be years in some cases. However, once a bottle of pure hypochlorous acid is opened, it becomes less stable and begins to degrade. This can be overcome by adding preservatives and additional ingredients, but must be weighed against the deleterious effects that these additives may have, especially with long-term use.
1 Stroman DW, Mintun K, Epstein AB, et al. Reduction in bacterial load using hypochlorous acid hygiene solution on ocular skin. Clin Ophthalmol. 2017;11:707–714. Published 2017 Apr 13. doi:10.2147/OPTH.S132851
2 Bezza Benkaouha I, Le Brun C, Pisella PJ, Chandenier J, Lanotte P. Bacterial flora in blepharitis. J Fr Ophtalmol. 2015;38(8):723–728.
3 Stroman DW, Mintun K, Epstein AB, et al. Reduction in bacterial load using hypochlorous acid hygiene solution on ocular skin. Clin Ophthalmol. 2017;11:707–714. Published 2017 Apr 13. doi:10.2147/OPTH.S132851
4 Harsch AG, Stout N, Lighthizer N. Beat the Blepharitis Blues. Review of Cornea and Contact Lenses. October 2016.
5 Ono T, Yamashita K, Murayama T, Sato T. Microbicidal effect of weak acid hypochlorous solution on various microorganisms. Biocontrol Science. 2012;17(3):129-33.
6 Debabov D, Noorbakhsh C, Wang L, et al. Avenova with Neutrox (pure 0.01% HOCl) compared with OTC product (0.02% HOCl). NovaBay Pharmaceuticals:1-5.
7 Wang L, Bassiri M, Najafi R, et al. Hypochlorous acid as a potential wound care agent: part I. Stabilized hypochlorous acid: a component of the inorganic armamentarium of innate immunity. J Burns Wounds. 2007;6:e5. Published 2007 Apr 11.
8 Dang V. Sizing Up Anti-inflammatories in Dry Eye Disease. Review of Optometry. April 2018.
9 Romanowski E, Stella N, Yates K, et al. In Vitro Evaluation of a Hypochlorous Acid Hygiene Solution on Established Biofilms. Eye Contact Lens. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29369234. Accessed March 25, 2018.
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