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What are the risks of using iodine?

Topical iodine antiseptics are generally safe to use to prevent or treat infection of minor cuts or scrapes on the skin. Unless you are using an iodine preparation that is applied to the eyes, you should avoid getting topical iodine in your eyes. If this happens, immediately rinse the eyes thoroughly with water to help prevent eye irritation.

If you are allergic to iodine, povidone or any other ingredients in over-the-counter (OTC) tinctures, you should not use a topical antiseptic containing iodine. Signs of allergic reaction include chest tightness, trouble breathing, rash, itching, facial swelling, hives, swelling in the mouth or throat.

Treating a serious injury, such as a deep wound, animal bite, or burn, with iodine is not recommended; seek immediate medical attention. Newborn babies should not be treated with iodine preparations to avoid thyroid problems and skin irritation that can occur during this stage of infancy.

Continue Learning about Iodine

Does iodine stain the skin?
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Iodine can stain skin, clothing and bedding. If you notice a discoloration of your skin after using ...
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Is iodine safe for children?
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Using topical iodine preparations to treat a child's minor cuts and scrapes is generally considered ...
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Is iodine safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women?
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What Are the Health Benefits of Iodine?
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.