Most people find it difficult to distinguish between three substances with similar names - boric acid, boric alcohol and salicylic acid.
In medicine, a drug such as boric alcohol is widely used, which is a solution in ethanol (70%) of boric acid, the concentration of which can be in the range of 0.5-5%. In order to understand the properties of this medication, it is necessary to take a closer look at its active substance and figure out what it is.
So, let's try to figure it out, and also consider what exactly is dripping into the ear.
What is boric acid?
Boric acid (H₃BO₃) is a white, odorless, solid, powdery substance. It dissolves at 0 ºС. It is contained in mineral waters, as well as in small quantities - in berries, fruits, and sometimes in wine.
The use of boric acid covers a huge number of different areas. Nowadays, boric acid is used:
- in the production of enamel products;
- has a disinfecting property, due to which it is widely used in medicine for treating wounds;
- is part of some medicines;
- when tanning leather;
- in the production of mineral paint;
- participates in nuclear production;
- in agriculture;
- in the food industry;
- in photography;
- in jewelry.
This drug is not exactly the same thing with acid. What is the difference - it's easy to understand. Boric alcohol is a liquid solution of boric acid in ethyl alcohol (in 70% ethanol)... It has all the antiseptic properties of boric acid, and is used for lotions, compresses and disinfecting wounds.
Among the older generation, a method of treating ear inflammations with the help of cotton wool (turunda) moistened with boric alcohol is common. In common parlance, boric acid and the alcohol of the same name are one and the same medicine, which is either dripped into the ear for otitis media, or is used in a different way. Note, however, that at present, experts are debating about the effectiveness and safety of such treatment.
It must be remembered that boric alcohol, like any drug, can cause a number of side effects, therefore, it is necessary to urgently seek medical help if the following symptoms are found:
- intoxication, which can be either acute (symptoms appear within minutes / hours after the stimulus enters the body) or chronic (develops gradually with constant ingestion of the irritant in small portions and accumulates);
- the appearance of skin irritation;
- scaly desquamation of the epithelium;
- Strong headache;
- clouding of consciousness;
- oliguria (a decrease in the amount of urine produced per day);
- rarely - a state of shock.
Boric alcohol is also used to combat acne. As a rule, they moisten a cotton pad with it and wipe the face. For the remedy to work as quickly as possible, you can repeat this procedure twice a day, but in this case, you need to be careful not to dry the skin.
It is necessary to lubricate the skin with a solution until the acne disappears completely, while their number decreases after a week of using the solution. In case of irritation, it is necessary to urgently stop the procedure.
How is salicylic acid different from the above?
Salicylic acid (C7H6O3 ) Is a substance from the group of aromatic hydroxy acids... This substance was first obtained from willow bark. Later, the German chemist Kolbe was able to synthesize salicylic acid by a fairly simple method, by which it is still produced today.
Salicylic acid was originally used to treat rheumatism. Currently, when there are a large number of effective agents for combating this disease, this substance is used as an anti-inflammatory.
Salicylic acid is found in many combination products., such as:
- lorinden A;
- in lotions and creams "Clerasil";
- pencils and other forms.
At high concentration salicylic acid affects sensitive nerve endings and is used to relieve pain.
Like other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, salicylic acid is also used for vasoconstriction and as an antipruritic agent.
It is recommended to use salicylic acid for the following indications:
- infectious and inflammatory skin diseases;
- increased sweating;
- excessive thickening of the stratum corneum of the epidermis;
- psoriasis, pityriasis versicolor;
- seborrhea, hair loss;
- pyoderma (purulent skin lesions);
- erythrasma (superficial form of pseudomycosis of the skin);
- ichthyosis (violation of keratinization of the skin - a hereditary disease);
- mycoses of the feet;
- removal of warts;
- getting rid of calluses, blackheads, corns;
- versicolor versicolor.
It should be remembered that in the case of ingestion, salicylic acid, being a kind of acids in general, has an irritating effect on the stomach.
People with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract should consult a specialist before taking products containing salicylic acid, which include such popular medicines as:
- aspirin (used mainly as an antipyretic agent);
- phenacetin (combined with other antipyretics);
- antipyrine (used in combination with other agents);
- analgin (can be used in tablets and parenterally: subcutaneously, intramuscularly, intravenously);
- butadion (used in tablets);
- sodium salicylate - recommended for the treatment of rheumatism in the form of powder, tablets or solution, and is also administered in 10-15% solutions intravenously.
In the treatment of rheumatism, salicylates are prescribed in large doses, so they can cause side effects:
- shortness of breath;
- noise in ears;
- skin rashes.
Attention! It must be remembered that it is not recommended to use salicylic acid during pregnancy and lactation.
After getting acquainted with all the substances, let's summarize whether it is the same or not, what is the difference:
- boric alcohol is a derivative of boric acid and has the same medicinal properties - both substances are disinfectants;
- salicylic acid differs from the two mentioned substances in its structure, as well as in the field of application - it is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic agent;
- when using all the drugs considered, you must be careful and consult with specialists before use.