Hypochlorous Acid During the Pandemic: a Powerful Natural Tool for Treating OSD and Killing Bacteria and Viruses
Marguerite McDonald, MD, FACS
During the COVID 19 pandemic, we are urged to avoid touching our eyes, nose, and mouth; to clean our hands frequently; and to clean all surfaces in our environment. There are many sanitizers that can be used on our hands only; OCuSOFT HypoChlor can be used on our hands and can also be sprayed onto our faces prior to and after wearing a mask. It can even be used to spray down the mask after use. Though OCuSOFT’s HypoChlor and HypoChlor Gel has shown great efficacy against the seven most common bacterial pathogens causing ocular surface disease, hypochlorous acid---their main ingredient---has also been proven to kill other viruses like norovirus, adenovirus, rhinovirus, and other human coronavirus although it hasn’t been tested on COVID-19. Hypochlorous acid is also on the EPA N-List of registered disinfectants:https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-releases-list-disinfectants-use-against-covid-19.
Excerpted from above link:
Products appearing on EPA’s list registered disinfectant products have qualified for use against COVID-19 through the agency’s Emerging Viral Pathogen program. This program allows product manufacturers to provide EPA with data, even in advance of an outbreak, that shows their products are effective against harder-to-kill viruses than SARS-CoV-2. It also allows additional communications intended to inform the public about the utility of these products against the emerging pathogen in the most expeditious manner. Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant product. Consumers using these disinfectants on an enveloped emerging virus should follow the directions for use on the product’s master label, paying close attention to the contact time for the product on the treated surface (i.e., how long the disinfectant should remain on the surface). To view the list of EPA-registered disinfectant products, visit https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
Hypochlorous acid is produced by white blood cells as part of the body’s natural defense mechanism against pathogens. It is a weak acid that is formed when chlorine dissolves in water; its chemical formula is HOCL. As a quick chemistry refresher: an acid has a pH below 7 (neutral). A pH above 7 is considered base/basic or alkaline. For example, tap water generally has a pH of 7, whereas citric acid from lemons is highly acidic with a pH of around 2. The pH of HOCL is between 6-7.
Hypochlorous acid is produced in one of two ways: either from either a chemical reaction or by electrolysis. Most HOCL solutions are made by electrolysis, with salt (NaCl) and water (H2O), which are then electrolyzed to yield the chemical reaction HOCL (hypochlorous acid) and OCL- (hypochlorite ion or sodium hypochlorite).
As mentioned, hypochlorous acid can also be produced by means of a chemical reaction. Chlorine in water splits into two forms, hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and hypochlorite ion (OCl-). At the high pH the chlorine provided by bleach contains a maximum of hypochlorite ion. The chlorine produced by electrolysis, however, contains a maximum concentration of hypochlorous acid (HOCl).
As a sanitizer, hypochlorous acid is a much more powerful germ killer than hypochlorite ion. How much of each---hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ion---is present in a chlorine solution is totally dependent upon the pH of the solution. As pH rises, less hypochlorous acid and more hypochlorite ion is in the solution. As the pH rises, less germ killing power is available. According to a University of Illinois study, HOCl is 120 times more effective as a sanitizer than the OCl- ion. The ideal pH of a disinfecting chlorine solution is a pH of 6-7. A solution with this pH strikes the perfect balance: strong germicidal activity and yet still non-irritating to the skin.
OCuSOFT has long recognized the germicidal advantages of hypochlorous acid. Their OCuSOFT HypoChlor Solution is intended for cleansing and removing foreign material and debris from the application site including microorganisms, immediate care of minor irritations to the skin, cleansing minor cuts, minor scrapes and minor burns.
The stable pH (6-7) of OCuSOFT HypoChlor allows for a gentler, robust and reliable product for application to eyelid tissue. It has been shown that 0.02% OCuSOFT HypoChlor is non-irritating to ocular tissue (by Draize testing, it scored a perfect “0”). At a pH that is matched to physiological pH, OCuSOFT HypoChlor has no irritation potential for the period of intended use as an eyelid scrub and cleanser, or even when instilled directly into the eye.
In addition, the root cause of anterior blepharitis is the overproduction of oils. Mild surfactants in OCuSOFT Lid Scrub eyelid cleansers act to dissolve and remove oil, debris and desquamated skin. Hypochlorous acid formulas do not contain these surfactants and thus are largely ineffective in debriding the oil, scales and debris often associated with eyelid irritations.
Since OCuSOFT Lid Scrub PLUS contains anti-bacterial properties, in cases of bacterial blepharitis treatment, this ONE product will effectively treat most patients. Only in the most severe cases of blepharitis is where hypochlorous acid might be most beneficial, that OCuSOFT recommends using combination therapy including both a surfactant cleanser and Hypochlorous acid twice daily to achieve optimum results.
The shelf-life of the main competing hypochlorous acid product is 3 years, however, once the product is opened, its equilibrium shifts, chlorine gas is released and it degrades into saline after 30 days. Therefore, one bottle of this competitive product only lasts one month. In comparison, OCuSOFT HypoChlor has an 18 month shelf-life and stability either opened or unopened. Since experts recommend that OCuSOFT HypoChlor should only be used as an adjunct to eyelid cleansers and for severe cases only, OCuSOFT HypoChlor’s 2oz. bottle could last a patient for 3-6 months.
Once the eyelid irritation is under control within the first 2 weeks of treatment with OCuSOFT Lid Scrub Original and OCuSOFT HypoChlor (OCuSOFT Clean ‘n Spray Kit), then the patient can switch to a low cost maintenance regimen of OCuSOFT Lid Scrub Original.
The chart below shows the results of anti-microbial testing of OCuSOFT products versus the seven bacterial pathogens most commonly involved in eye and eyelid infections: