Experiences with the use of povidone-iodine-containing local therapeutics in dermatological surgery and in the treatment of burns: Testing for allergic sensitization in postsurgery patients

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In dermatological surgery where the lesions to be removed are very often contaminated with bacteria, local use of antiseptics that are effective against a wide range of germs is often indicated. Polyvinylpyrrolidone (povidone = PVP)-bound iodine (in Hungary marketed as Beta-dine®) is used successfully in our department. After excision and suture in per primam healing wounds as well as after tissue destruction in per secundam healing wounds, a thin layer of Betadine ointment on the dressing right after surgery and at dressing changes may reduce the risk of wound infection. When the defect requires split-thickness skin grafting, a combination of tulle gras and a layer of gauze soaked with 1:10 dilution of Betadine solution is suggested. In the treatment of leg ulcers, Betadine is used for cleansing and for impregnating the gauze on top of the tulle gras layer both in the debridement and in the epithelization phases. PVP-I is beneficial on burn wounds due to its effect reducing bacterial colony counts. Its use is advised for superficial (grades 1 and 2a) burns as well as surgical debridement of deep burns or temporary xenograft or definitive autograft coverage of these wounds. After treating a large number of patients with Betadine, a statement can be made: despite its theoretical risk, no cytostatic effect is seen in the clinical setting. No allergy towards Betadine was observed among the author's patients over several years of its use. Fifty patients previously treated with PVP-I were challenged with epicutaneous patch testing, and no sensitization was found. An account is made on the adverse effects attributed to Betadine found in the scientific literature, and its use with regard to the proper indications is suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-58
Number of pages7
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - May 27 2002



  • Burns
  • Dermatologic surgery
  • Epicutaneous testing
  • Multilayer bandage
  • Povidone-iodine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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