Dakin's solution: is there a place for it in the 21st century?

Int Wound J. 2017 Dec;14(6):918-920. doi: 10.1111/iwj.12728. Epub 2017 Feb 15.


Dakin's solution (DS) is a time-honoured antiseptic that still remains part of the wound care armamentarium. In spite of its cytotoxicity, some question its use in the current era. We report the case of a 52-year-old diabetic woman who was admitted for sepsis because of a severely infected diabetic foot. Urgent surgical drainage and debridement left a 9 × 9-cm deep, complex, infected wound with both bone and tendon involvement. Treatment with local negative pressure was unsuccessful. DS was regularly instilled through a tube left in the wound dressing. A marked improvement was observed with this strategy as the wound bed was much cleaner and fully granulated after 6 weeks. No adverse effects were noted. This case debunks the myth that topical antiseptics necessarily impair wound healing. DS can still be considered an option for difficult-to-treat, complex and heavily infected wounds.

Keywords: Dakin's solution; Diabetic foot; Wound healing.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Diabetic Foot / drug therapy*
  • Diabetic Foot / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Sodium Hypochlorite / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing / physiology*
  • Wound Infection / drug therapy*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Sodium Hypochlorite