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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Betadine Solution

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Removing Betadine Solution from Skin [posted 12/01/98]
Question: What will remove Betadine solution stain from the skin?

Answer: Bleach, but it also changes the skin.

General Information
Question: I am interested in obtaining some information about betadine solution. I have been told that it is ineffective when put on inanimate objects. Is this true? In practice we place betadine on the connections to subclavian catheter for 5 minutes. The betadine remains wet. Is this effective? Although our procedure is to pour unused betadine down the drain and rinse, many mix it with peroxide and or pour it in basins filled with vespene. Is this OK or does it cause a potentially harmful chemical? Thank you for any information that you can send me.

Answer: Hard to tell about inanimate objects. Generally, we assume that they are still potentially infected due to the crevices and crannies where bacteria can hide. Betadine or any iodine containing antibacterial will not be effective wet. It must be allowed to dry to obtain maximum effectiveness. I don't know of any harmful chemical made by this concoction; but, you're getting out of my field.

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