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How to Get Iodine off Skin

Iodine used on skin before surgery can be a lasting eyesore. Make the redness disappear so you can focus on recovery.


  • Step 1: Gather supplies Apply rubbing alcohol to the stained skin using a washcloth or cotton balls.
  • TIP: Recruit someone to help you if your mobility is limited or if the stain is in a hard-to-reach place.
  • Step 2: Wipe using firm, circular strokes Wipe the alcohol onto the iodine using firm, circular strokes around the incision. Use caution to avoid tearing your stitches.
  • Step 3: Rinse Rinse the area with warm water once the iodine stain has been removed.
  • Step 4: Use sodium thiosulfate Use sodium thiosulfate solution, applying it the same way as the alcohol. Sodium thiosulfate, commonly used to develop photographs, reacts with iodine to make iodide, which is water soluble.
  • Step 5: Check with your doctor Call your doctor if the skin where you used the topical iodine develops itching or burning that was not present before.
  • FACT: Sodium thiosulfate is also used as an antidote to cyanide poisoning when given intravenously with sodium nitrite.

You Will Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Washcloth or cotton balls
  • Warm water
  • 5% sodium thiosulfate solution
  • Helper (optional)

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