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Superoxidised solution

Author: Lydia Chan, Dermatology Registrar, Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand; Chief Editor: Dr Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, December 2015.

Superoxidised solution — codes and concepts

What is a superoxidised solution?

A superoxidised solution is comprised of a low concentration of salt (sodium chloride), dissolved in water, into which an electric current is passed. This produces a mixture of charged particles (ions), mostly comprised of combinations of hydrogen, oxygen and chlorine. Due to the generation of hydrogen ions, the solutions can be acidic. Some solutions undergo further processing to balance the pH, which extends their shelf life. They are used as antiseptics to prevent wound infections and in the management of chronic wound biofilm.

The superoxidised solution can be made into a gel for ease of use.

How do superoxidised solutions work?

Superoxidised solutions work to destroy organic material by undergoing chemical reactions with proteins and molecules. These disrupt the cell walls of bacteria and other organisms and interfere with important cellular processes, leading to their death.

In biofilms, superoxidised solutions may help break down the molecular structure of the film on which the bacteria live, as well as reducing the amount of bacteria present.

In chronic wounds, superoxidised solutions are thought to speed healing by reducing the amount of bacteria present, improving blood supply and reducing inflammation. They also reduce the odour of wounds by reacting with dying material.

Where are superoxidised solutions used?

Superoxidised solutions may form part of a wound care regimen for acute or chronic wounds, such as:

The solution may be applied on a gauze swab or as a wash, or formulated into a gel.

Other potential uses for superoxidised solutions include:

  • Prevention of infection following dental root canal procedure or operations
  • Sterilisation of medical and dental equipment (especially water pipes)
  • Reducing bacterial numbers in industrial cooling towers.

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