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Povidone Iodine Topical



Povidone iodine topical is used to treat and prevent infection in wounds and as first aid for minor cuts, grazes, burns, abrasions and blisters. It is also used as a mouthwash or gargle solution to prevent inflammation or ulcers in the mouth and to maintain oral hygiene. It is most commonly used during surgery for disinfecting skin before taking incision or cut and for treatment of certain eye infections.

How it works

Povidone Iodine belongs to the class of medications called as antiseptics. It works by liberating iodine after coming in contact with the skin causing antiseptic action thereby killing microorganisms.

Common side effects

Allergy, Eye swelling, Eye damage, Skin rash, Skin redness


No medicine available

Expert advice

  • Seek doctor’s advice before use, if injuries are deep or there are puncture wounds or serious burns.
  • If you experience skin rash, hives, or itching, or any other unusual reaction after using povidone iodine topical, discontinue use and contact your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Povidone iodine cutaneous spray powder is meant for external application and should not be instilled in eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Do not use the povidone iodine solution on large parts of the body for more than a week unless advised by your doctor.
  • It should not take if patient is allergic to povidone iodine, iodine or to any of its ingredients. 
  • It should not take if patient is having thyroid disorders, in particular overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), goiter (enlarged thyroid), Hashimoto's thyroiditis (attack of the immune system on thyroid gland leading to swelling) or prior to receiving radioactive iodine therapy.
  • Do not use povidone iodine eye drops for intraocular or periocular injection. 

Frequently asked questions

Povidone Iodine Topical

Q. Is povidone iodine topical the same as betadine?
Yes. Betadine is the brand name of povidone iodine topical.
Q. Is povidone iodine topical the same as iodine or iodine tincture?
No.  Povidone iodine topical is the stable chemical complex of povidone (polyvinylpyrrolidone i.e. PVP) and elemental iodine. Iodine tincture has iodine and potassium iodide dissolved in ethanol and water. Both the formulations show antiseptic action. 
Q. Does povidone iodine topical kill yeast, bacteria or fungus?
Yes. Povidone iodine topical being disinfectant and antiseptic inhibits the growth and development of microorganisms.
Q. Does povidone iodine topical burn, stain, sting or hurt?
Topical application of povidone iodine may cause slight irritation. Temporary staining of affected area is also possible. However, it is not a matter of concern and gets resolved quickly.
Q. Does povidone iodine stain teeth?
Povidone iodine mouthwash does not stain the teeth, if used as indicated.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)