Talk:Tincture of iodine

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Initial comments[edit]

it seems someone ( has sabotaged the page, restored it to older version. -- 07:23, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)


From the article: "Tincture of iodine is recently available as a solution of complex of iodine with polyvinylpyrrolidone. This mixture is known under trade name Betadine."

  • A Tincture by definition is an alcoholic application. Betadine contains no alcohol and is not a tincture - it's just a solution of PVPI.
    • I agree that PVPI should be distinguished from iodine tincture. But your definition of "tincture" is wrong. Technically, any solution can be called a tincture. Originally it applied to anything whose color had been changed by an additive. The association with alcoholic extraction in pharmacy is purely historical. And even there it's not absolute. Here's the definition in the OED: "Mod. Pharmacy. A solution, usually in a menstruum of alcohol, of some principle used in medicine, chiefly vegetable, as tincture of opium (laudanum), but sometimes animal, as tincture of cantharides, or mineral, as tincture of ferric chloride.§ More particularly called an alcoholic tincture. But the menstruum may also be sulphuric ether or spirit of ammonia (both mainly alcohol), which give ethereal and ammoniated tinctures respectively; when wine is used they are called medicated wines. A tincture is simple when it is a solution of one substance only, compound when of two or more substances." Isaac R (talk) 20:46, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

I'll work on this when I have time. Maybe it would be best to link to Betadine in a 'see also' section so that the information is not completely removed from this article.
Zaui 22:00, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Iodine Deficiency Disorders[edit]

Removal of a dubious paragraph from the main page and paste hereafter:

It can also be used to detect and treat iodine deficiency which can lead to hypothyroidism<ref name=deficiency>{{cite web|url=|title=|accessdate=2008-05-06}} MMWR 42(RR16);1-25 Publication date: 12/31/1993</ref>.''


This hyperlink leads to the following text (copy and paste from the page):

More than a billion persons are at risk for this noninfectious condition, which is the leading preventable cause of intellectual impairment in the world (33). The number of persons affected is unknown, but prevalences of the most severe form, cretinism, often reach 3%-15% in areas where the disease is highly endemic. Goiter and hypothyroidism are other manifestations of the deficiency. The main risk factor involved is exclusive or nearly exclusive consumption of locally grown foods in areas where the soil is deficient in iodine.

Interventions include adding iodine to salt, tea, fish paste, or bread, at a cost of US $0.02-0.04 per person per year for iodized salt. Iodized oil is available in injectable or oral forms. Interventions for iodine deficiency can also be combined readily with interventions for vitamin A and/or iron deficiency. A new assay is available to measure levels of thyroid hormone in samples of blood from a fingerstick. Methods such as iodized salt were used to eliminate iodine deficiency disorders more than 40 years ago in Australia, England, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United States. Bolivia and Ecuador have almost eliminated the condition. WHO has endorsed a goal of elimination of iodine deficiency disorder by the year 2000. There is great need for improved surveillance and estimates of the prevalence of these disorders and of their economic impact. Iodine deficiency disorders can be eliminated.

Shinkolobwe (talk) 17:12, 15 May 2008 (UTC)


The reference text given here above does not mentioned what is claimed in the dubious paragraph.

Personally, I do not immediately see how iodine tincture can be used to detect and treat iodine deficiency.

  1. It is not a tool of diagnostic, nor for a doctor, nor for a chemist.
  2. It is likely not an adequate way to administrate iodine to a deficient patient.
  3. It could be dangerous if a too large surface of the body is treated for a too long time. Poisoning by an overdose of iodine could then occur: the dose is the poison (Paracelsus).

So, I am highly skeptic on the suggested treatment. Thus, I removed the paragraph to avoid any health risk if any incompetent person would use it in an unreasonable way.

Shinkolobwe (talk) 17:12, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

And properly so! Tincture of iodine contains elemental iodine, which is mildly poisonous, and is the wrong thing for iodine deficiency (which is best treated with iodine salts). Iodine deficiency has no place in discussions of elemental iodine and tincture of iodine, which are useful only for their antiseptic properties, not because they contain iodine itself. SBHarris 03:43, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Water-free AND aqueous?[edit]

The article says Lugol's iodine is water free and aqueous, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Am i missing something? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:38, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Iodine deficiency skin test valid?[edit]

"Application of tincture or Lugol's to the skin also results in absorption and bioavailability of some moderate fraction of the iodine. The absorption time (disappearance of the skin stain) depends on the level of iodine already in the body as well as the condition of the skin, and varies from one or two hours in iodine-deficient persons to many hours in those having normal levels."

This seems suspicious (perhaps some evidence?), since Dr. David Derry, states on (,

"The "test" of putting iodine on the skin to watch how fast it disappears is not an indicator of anything. The iodine disappearance rate is unrelated to thyroid disease or even iodine content of the body.(1-2) Meticulous research by Nyiri and Jannitti in 1932 showed clearly when iodine is applied to the skin in almost any form, 50% evaporates into the air within 2 hours and between 75 and 80 percent evaporates into the air within 24 hours."

I have found a copy of the Nyiri and Jannitti paper here,
Unfortunately I can't find the other paper by Biskind,M.S. Penetration through tissue of iodine in different solvents. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 30:35-37, 1932.
Anton87i (talk) 16:48, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

This paper states that "the skin iodine patch test is not a reliable method to assess whole body sufficiency for iodine" for a variety of reasons explained in the paper. It also shows test data that confirm the body will readily absorb far more iodine than it needs, which means the test can't work anyway. I also see that the Nyiri and Jannitti paper referenced above states "The percentage of iodine penetration through the skin is the same, irrespective of whether the cells have a high or low vitality, or are dead, and irrespective of the direction of penetration. Activity of the cells, therefore, does not seem to be indispensable for the penetration of iodine." That seems pretty conclusive, so I'm removing the reference to this skin test. (talk) 03:52, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Decolorized iodine[edit]

Can someone knowledgeable add information about decolorized (colorless, white) iodine? Is it the same thing as the iodine in iodine tincture?

I tried to find information on this and most of the information seems to counteract each others so I cannot add anything to this article as I'm not sure what reference/citation is correct.

Thanks (talk) 09:19, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Benefit and harm of iodine in wound care: a systematic review[edit]

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 23:54, 28 September 2014 (UTC)