Boric water: See what it is for, when to use and if it is bad

Boric water is a well-known product and used in Brazil, containing antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Despite this, the misuse of the product can present some health risks, so it is important to understand how to use it correctly.

In this text, we will talk about boric acid water, its uses, how to store it correctly and also how to buy it. Continue reading and check it out!


What is boric acid?

Boric water is a solution composed of water and a dosage of boric acid, usually in concentrations ranging from 1% to 5%, the most common of which contains 3% of the acid.

It can be found in pharmacies, can be handled with a specific percentage and can also be made at home, mixing water with powdered boric acid.

What is boric acid used for?

Boric water is a solution used to treat infections caused by bacteria or fungi, because the acid has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It can be applied to wounds, boils, ear canal infections, skin irritations and even minor burns.

The acid acts as a disinfectant, helping to treat these conditions.

There are indications that fungal problems such as candidiasis and vaginal mycosis can also be treated with boric acid water, as many medications for these conditions use boric acid in their composition.

The effectiveness of the substance has also been studied in the treatment of paronychia, an infection of the skin around the nail.

Read more: Antifungals for the treatment of candidiasis

Boric water is hydrogen peroxide?

No. Boric acid and hydrogen peroxide are different solutions.

Boric water is composed of boric acid (H3BO3) diluted in water (H2O). Hydrogen peroxide, on the other hand, is a substance called hydrogen peroxide, the result of adding an oxygen atom to the water molecule – becoming H2O2.

Although both solutions can be used, for example, on small wounds, they act differently and have different forms of action.

Its make bad?

It depends. Boric water is currently banned in many countries. This is because the acid, despite its therapeutic properties, presents health risks, depending on the way it is used. Fluid intake, for example, can lead to intoxication.

One of the main discussions about boric acid water is about applying the product to the eyes to treat allergies, inflammations and infections, such as conjunctivitis .

Despite being a very popular way to reduce the symptoms of these conditions, there are several studies in the field of ophthalmology pointing to the dangers of use.

The first reason is that the products indicated for the eyes must be isotonic (have a concentration similar to the natural liquid of the eyes), and boric acid is not an isotonic liquid. This can cause irritation and dry eyes.

In addition, there is a regulation that states only sterile substances should be used in the eyes, and boric acid water is not sterile. Because of this, it can be a vehicle for transferring pathogenic microorganisms (which cause disease) to the eyes.

Studies suggest that contamination occurs due to the time that the bottle spends open, thus creating the risk of bacterial proliferation.

There are eye drops that use boric acid in their composition, but they are produced safely for use in the eyes.

Therefore, before applying any product to the eyes, the professional guidance of an ophthalmologist is essential.

What is the difference between boric acid and saline?

Boric water and saline are different compounds. As explained, boric acid water consists of boric acid (H3BO3) diluted in water. Saline is sodium chloride (NaCl) diluted in water, which is a sterile solution and can be used to clean the eyes – unlike boric acid water.

The difference between these two products is also in the concentration: while boric acid water has 1% to 5% boric acid, saline contains 0.9% sodium chloride.

This makes saline an isotonic substance, that is, with concentrations similar to cellular fluids. Therefore, saline can be injected or ingested in cases of dehydration, unlike boric acid water that should not be ingested under any circumstances.

Where to store?

Boric water must be stored in a suitable container, made of amber glass or opaque plastic, properly closed. It must not be exposed to light and its temperature must be below 25ºC.

Under these conditions of conservation, its validity period is 3 months. It is important to be very careful when handling the product, not leaving it uncapped, especially due to the possibility of contamination.

Price and where to find

Boric water can be handled in specialized, conventional pharmacies and purchased online, as by Consulta Remédios. Below, we have separated some brands that sell boric acid water at a concentration of 3%, in 100mL containers :

  • Boric water Nexter 3% (price: R $ 3.12) *;
  • Boricada water from Santa Catarina 3% (price: R $ 3.64) *;
  • Boric water Farmax 3% (price: R $ 1.54) *;
  • Boric water LBS 3% (price: R $ 1.59) *.

* Prices consulted at Consulta Remédios in September 2019. Prices may change.

Boric water is a solution that can be used to treat bacterial and fungal infections, as it has properties that promote the fight against these microorganisms.

It is a very popular product, easy to find and inexpensive. Despite this, it is necessary to pay attention to some risks that it can present, such as contamination of the bottle and the ingestion that can cause intoxication.

Therefore, it should only be used in adults.

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