Let’s uncover some advantages of hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) in peristomal skin care. This article explores how HOCl’s gentle cleansing and antimicrobial benefits can play a vital role in effective hygiene of the skin surrounding a stoma.
Discover practical tips for incorporating HOCl into your patient’s life, offering a simple-yet-effective approach to enhance peristomal skin health and overall patient comfort.
It goes without saying that living with a stoma can present unique challenges. Individuals who have undergone ostomy surgery can certainly understand the importance of proper peristomal skin care⁵.
The peristomal area—the region where the stoma exits the body—requires careful attention and effective antimicrobial skincare agents to maintain skin health and prevent complications⁵. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the use of hypochlorous acid solutions as an effective and gentle way to simplify care⁴. In this blog, we will explore the benefits of hypochlorous acid and how incorporating it into your patient’s care routine can make a significant difference.
What is Hypochlorous Acid?
As a naturally occurring molecule, hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is produced by the human body's immune system with the purpose of fighting infections¹ and inflammation. It’s a powerful-yet-gentle disinfectant that kills bacteria, viruses, and fungi¹⁻³.
What makes HOCl unique isn’t simply its antimicrobial efficacy, rather its ability to eliminate harmful microorganisms while being completely non-cytotoxic for human tissues¹.
In a 2023 patient case study which evaluated the use of HOCl in at-home peristomal skin care, HOCl was found to be an efficacious antimicrobial cleansing agent for the peristomal area that promoted bacterial reduction⁴.
In fact, hypochlorous acid has also been shown to:
- Improve oxygenation to injury sites, improving tissue repair and wound healing outcomes¹.
- Reduce the formation of post-procedural hypertrophic and keloid scarring when used in conjunction with topical silicone¹.
- Reduce pruritus, or localized itching, related to atopic dermatitis in murine studies².
- Reduce hard-to-treat biofilms and lower bacterial counts in wounds³.
Benefits of Hypochlorous Acid in Peristomal Care
Hypochlorous acid is known for its gentle and effective cleansing properties³. When used in peristomal care, it helps remove debris, sweat, and other contaminants without causing irritation to the delicate skin surrounding the stoma.
Peristomal skin is susceptible to infections due to its constant exposure to bodily fluids⁵. Hypochlorous acid's antimicrobial properties help reduce the risk of infections¹⁻³, promoting a healthier peristomal environment.
Reduced Irritation and Itching
Individuals with an ostomy can often experience skin irritation and itching⁵. Hypochlorous acid can help soothe irritated skin and alleviate itching¹⁻³, providing much-needed relief and improving overall comfort.
Promoting Wound Healing
For those with recent ostomy surgery, the peristomal area may still be in the process of healing⁵. Hypochlorous acid supports the natural wound healing process by creating an optimal environment for tissue repair¹.
Hypochlorous acid can help neutralize odours related to unwanted bacterial build up in skin wounds and ulcers⁶, this unique targeting of odour causing bacterias may be useful in supporting improved wound odour control and overall peristomal health.
Incorporating Hypochlorous Acid into Your Peristomal Care Routine
When cleaning the peristomal skin, use a pure hypochlorous acid solution with a gentle touch. Avoid abrasive materials or harsh cleansers that may damage the skin or interfere with the adhesive properties of the ostomy appliance.
Include HOCl in Daily Care
Incorporate hypochlorous acid into the daily peristomal care routine. Regular use can help prevent bacterial-related issues before they arise, promoting ongoing skin health and comfort.
A Simple Cleanser with Optimal Results
Simplifying peristomal skin care with hypochlorous acid solutions offers a gentle yet effective approach to maintaining skin health around the stoma⁵. By incorporating these solutions into your daily routine, you can enjoy the benefits of antimicrobial action, reduced irritation, and improved overall comfort⁵.
If you are an individual with an ostomy, always consult with your healthcare provider before making changes to your peristomal care routine, and consider incorporating hypochlorous acid into care routines for a positive impact on your ostomy journey.
- Gold, M. H., Andriessen, A., Dayan, S. H., Fabi, S. G., Lorenc, Z. P., & Henderson Berg, M. H. (2017). Hypochlorous acid gel technology—Its impact on postprocedure treatment and scar prevention. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 16(2), 162-167.
- Pelgrift, R. Y., & Friedman, A. J. (2013). Topical hypochlorous acid (HOCl) as a potential treatment of pruritus. Current Dermatology Reports, 2, 181-190.
- Natarelli, N., Nong, Y., Maloh, J., & Sivamani, R. (2022). Hypochlorous Acid: Applications in Dermatology. Journal of Integrative Dermatology.
- Araya-Santander, P. (2023). PP042 MANAGEMENT OF MOISTURE INJURIES AT HOME USE OF HYPOCHLOROUS ACID PH 5.5: CASE REPORT. Journal of Wound Management, 24(2).
- Black, P. (2007). Peristomal skin care: an overview of available products. British Journal of Nursing, 16(17), 1048-1056.
- Ragab, I. I., & Kamal, A. (2017). The Effectiveness of Hypochlorous Acid Solution on Healing of Infected Diabetic Foot Ulcers. Journal of Education and Practice, 8(8), 58-71.