Q. I was interested in the letter from a reader who applied tincture of iodine to his nails to fight fungus. He mentioned that it stains the nails brown. I am surprised you did not tell him that iodine also comes as a colorless liquid. My mother used it for years to control toenail fungus.
A. Many other readers hastened to tell us that we should have mentioned clear iodine. It is also called decolorized or “white” iodine (yodo blanco in Spanish) and won’t stain the skin the way brown tincture of iodine does. It should be available in most drugstores, though you may have to ask the pharmacist to help you find it. Iodine is a good disinfectant and also has antifungal activity.

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  1. dk
    Reply

    I have been trying to find white decolorized iodine. I have gotten it from Walgreens in the past but now I am getting told it has been discontinued by HUMCO. Is there a way to find some through ordering? The Walgreens I have by me says they can’t even order it, is there another where I can find it somewhere?

  2. BFT
    Reply

    Did it work?

  3. S Giddens
    Reply

    July 4th I purchased white iodine and began using on nails daily. July 18th I began to have an allergic reaction. My face, neck, hands, and feet began to heat up. I began to burn and itch. My stomach began to cramp, vomiting followed with profound stomach cramps. I began to have severe difficulty breathing. I had 4 of these episodes lasting about 5 minutes each, with the exception of the vomiting which lasted about 6 hours. Iodine poisoning is what the diagnosis turned out to be. WARNING TO EVERYONE WHO USES IODINE TO STRENGTHEN NAILS……IT MAKES YOUR NAILS STRONG BUT IT ALSO CAN KILL YOU IF USED IN EXCESS.

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