Boric acid is a poison used for pest control, but may also occur in products such as astringents, photography chemicals, skin lotion, eye drops and medicated powders 1. Boric acid is a form or boron, which occurs naturally in food and in the environment, but some people may take the mineral as a supplement 1. Boric acid may help to treat minor eye infections as well as vaginal infections 1.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Allergy and Side Effects

As with all medications, side effects may occur. A person with an allergy to boric acid should not use any products with the ingredient 1. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include swelling of the airways, increased heart rate, difficulty breathing and hives. Side effects from boric acid may include skin inflammation, irritability, headaches and depression 1.

Medical Contraindications

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Pregnant women should not take boric acid 1. The supplement may cause birth defects to the unborn baby. Individuals with kidney disease or a hormone sensitive condition, such as breast cancer or uterine fibroids, should not take boric acid 1.


Boric acid may cause toxic poisoning if a person ingests it or if the substance absorbs through the skin 14. There is no antidote for boric acid poisoning and death may occur as a result 14. Symptoms of boric acid poisoning include:

  • bluish green vomit
  • a bright red rash on the skin
  • blisters
  • drowsiness
  • fever
  • diarrhea 14

It is important to keep boric acid well labeled and out of the reach of children 1. Chronic poisoning with boric acid may cause a reddened tongue, patchy areas of hair loss, reddened eyes and cracked lips 14.

Respiratory Harm

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Inhaling boric acid powder may cause harm to the respiratory tract and may cause side effects or toxic symptoms 1. If a person inhales boric acid, he needs to move to fresh air to breathe 1. Oxygen therapy and artificial respiration may be necessary for the damaged lungs.

Eye Drop Warning

Avoid using boric acid eye drops while wearing soft contact lenses 1. The drops may allow a preservative found in the product to stain the contacts. Wait at least 15 minutes before inserting soft contact lenses after using boric acid drops, according to 12. Avoid getting any of the boric acid eye drops into an open wound or in the mouth, nose or ears 1.


Store boric acid in cool to warm temperatures in a carbon steel or aluminum container 1.