Skin irritation fingers

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

Therapeutic Indications

Betadine is the antiseptic medicine of choice that effectively treats skin infections, minor wounds, burns, and bruises. Topical application of Betadine ointment helps skin abrasions heal faster. The cream is useful to heal second and third-degree burns as well.

The antibiotic in Betadine destroys organisms like viruses, fungus, bacteria, protozoa, and spores on the skin. When applied to the infected area, this medicine arrests escalating infection.

Povidone iodine, the key ingredient in Betadine is extremely popular as a preoperative antiseptic to sanitize the skin prior to a surgical procedure. This medicine is a good first aid measure. This agent is also under the lens for its role in treating ocular diseases such as viral conjunctivitis.

STAPH INFECTION stitchesThe specialty of povidone-iodine (PI) is its expansive microbicidal action. Most importantly, it scores high compared to other antiseptic agents and antibiotics available. Even after brief exposure to this agent, there is a commendable degree of bactericidal efficiency.

Betadine is able to demonstrate efficacy in dealing with gram-positive pathogenic microorganisms, for instance, Enterococcus strains and highly resistant methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). That is why its role in hospital hygiene is highly significant. Another crucial factor, it differs from other antiseptic substances and local antibiotics in that no resistance to Betadine seems to develop.

Betadine is available as a cream, ointment, solution and powder spray for external application only. Betadine gargle solution is both a mouthwash as well as medicated gargle solution that kills most bacteria and viruses in your throat and oral cavity.

Briefly, Betadine treats:

  • Vaginal Candidiasis: Betadine ointment effectively brings relief as well as prevents fungal infections of the vagina. At times healthcare providers prescribe Betadine in combination with other medicines to achieve better results.
  • Minor wounds: Betadine ointment prevents and treats the infection on the skin. This medicine works well as first aid and antiseptic for blisters, grazes, cuts, burns, and abrasions.
  • Oral infections: Betadine ointment can effectively heal and prevent infections in the mouth.
  • Skin disinfectant: Betadine works as a good sanitizer on a patient’s skin before a surgical procedure.
  • Sore throat: Betadine gargle solution gives relief to a sore throat as well as other oral infections.
  • Leg ulcers: Regular application of Betadine can treat  leg ulcers

Do I need a prescription?

Betadine is available in the local pharmacies as well as few departmental stores. It is both an over-the-counter and prescription medicine.


Betadine ointment/cream/solution/powder

Skin cancer carcinomaThe dosage for Betadine Ointment will vary depending upon your age, gender, other medicines you consume, medical condition and reaction to the starting dose. This medicine is not advisable for children below 2 years of age.

  • Betadine ointment is only for external application on the skin.
  • Stick to the guidelines on the product package or follow the advice of your healthcare provider.
  • Do not consume/ingest this medicine
  • Do not apply Betadine ointment inside the nose unless your doctor has given such advice.
  • Ensure this product does not get into your eyes.
  • Before applying Betadine, ensure the affected area is clean and dry.
  • Apply the ointment on the skin as a thin layer about 1 to 3 times daily. In case you are using Betadine powder, lightly dust the powder on the affected area.
  • If you are using Betadine solution, apply a small amount on the affected part after cleaning the area well.
  • Keep a regular schedule for applying for the medicine and keep the same time every day for best results.
  • Wash your hands after using this medicine.
  • The effect of the medicine shows up in a few days.

Betadine Gargle

  • Betadine Sore Throat Gargle contains antibacterial and antiviral agents to fight sore throat. It comes as a concentrate that you need to dilute with water.
  • This gargle solution is capable of destroying most of the viruses and bacteria in less than a minute
  • Take about 1mL to 20mL of Betadine medicated gargle and dilute with water using the measure that comes with the product. Gargle for 30 seconds. You can repeat gargling every 3 to 4 hours depending upon the severity of sore throat.

Important pointers

  • In case you are using a pump spray applicator, make sure you do not inhale the spray mist
  • Keep this medicine away from the eyes
  • Stop using the medicine immediately if you experience any allergic reaction

Chemical Composition

Betadine contains povidone-iodine as a key active ingredient. The other ingredients are nonoxynol-9, dibasic sodium phosphate-citric acid, sodium hydroxide, sodium chloride, and glycerine.

Betadine Facts

  • No risk of habit-forming with use of Betadine
  • Surgeons count upon Povidone-iodine(PI)in Betadine as a strong preoperative antiseptic
  • Betadine is more economical than other available topical antibiotics
  • Betadine’s active ingredient, Povidone Iodine can render a large number of viruses powerless–HIV, mumps, and herpes simplex
  • Low price, broader antibacterial spectrum, fewer bacterial resistance give Betadine a distinct advantage over others

Mechanism of Action

The effect of Povidone Iodine in Betadine starts immediately after application on the skin.

Betadine begins oxidizing cell constituents. The active ingredient in Betadine iodinates the microbial protein and DNA with a motive to destroy them. This medicine demonstrates unparalleled in vitro antimicrobial activity by destroying fungi, spores, and bacteria.


Skin irritation fingersIt is imperative that you discuss with your healthcare provider prior to using Betadine. Share information about any allergies you suffer from; some of the inactive ingredients can also trigger allergies.

Communicate with your specialist about skin conditions- for instance, eczema or viral skin infections such as cold sores, shingles or chicken pox before starting on Betadine treatment.

Further, if you are already using Betadine and need to undergo any surgery or even a dental procedure, the health care provider needs to know.

Betadine can trigger interactions in the presence of certain health conditions. Tread with caution in the event of:

  • Deep wounds: Consult with your healthcare provider with respect to deep weeping wounds before using Betadine
  • Iodine allergy or to any of the ingredients in Betadine: Using this medicine under these circumstances can intensify an allergic reaction.
  • Reduced kidney function: Victims of kidney disease or lowered kidney function should stay away from this medicine.
  • Thyroid disorders: Victims of active thyroid hormone disorder should be cautious with the use of Betadine. It is imperative to watch out for any fluctuation in thyroid levels and consult with healthcare provider immediately.
  • Lithium Therapy: Those undergoing lithium therapy must not use Betadine
  • Pregnancy: Betadine needs to be used with caution or only if absolutely necessary during pregnancy. Use of this medicine is as such, not advisable for pregnant women.
  • Breastfeeding: Healthcare providers do not recommend the use of Betadine if you are breastfeeding. In case it is necessary, it is important to weigh the benefits and risks. If you absolutely need to use Betadine, it is better to discontinue breastfeeding.

 Side effects

Common side effects

It is common to experience irritation, redness or burning sensation on the skin while using Betadine. If these side effects persist, consult your doctor as soon as possible.

Serious side effects

  • Problems with balance or sudden hearing difficulties
  • Folliculitis or hair bumps
  • Skin inflammation
  • Scaling of skin
  • Bacterial skin infection
  • Rashes
  • Swelling of throat, face, tongue needs immediate medical attention.
  • Dizziness
  • Breathing trouble

It is better to consult with the specialist immediately during such serious or unusual side effects.

What to do if you skip a dose?

If you forget to apply the medicine at the scheduled time, you can do so as soon as it crosses your mind. Although, if it is close to the next dose, then just skip the missed dose. Do not apply two doses together to compensate for the dose that you missed.


If you have accidentally ingested the medicine, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Burning sensation in the throat
  • Pain in the mouth or throat
  • Metallic taste
  • Increased salivation

If the symptoms become severe, rush to your medical specialist immediately.

Generic and brand names of this drug

Generic Name: Povidone Iodine

Brand Name: Betadine, Clinidine, Pentadiene, Alphadine, Pharmadine, Wokadine

Different Manufacturing Companies of Betadine

Substitutes for Betadine

The list of medicines below share similar ingredients with Betadine and therefore can be a good substitute


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