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Using iodine on warts: What to know about the TikTok trend



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It happens to the best of us: Sometimes, we just can’t help but pop a pimple, whitehead, or blackhead. As tempting as it is, dermatologists recommend refraining from touching or squeezing acne spots.

says d. Jason Schwake, MD, a dermatologist In the American Academy of Dermatology, he told HuffPost. “It increases your risk of deeper infections and scarring, which can be permanent.”

Nicole Olsen got such an infection after that A pimple appeared on her face. Miami womanwho works in a medical office, then switches to povidone-iodine, which is Commonly used before and after surgery.

in Tik Tok video To document her experience, she is seen applying the orange-brown solution to her face with a cotton swab. Olsen said she used it to deal with acne and scars.


“Within a few hours, I felt an improvement in terms of inflammation and pressure in the area, so I reapplied and continued the spot treatment overnight,” Olsen told HuffPost. “The next day, the scab almost peeled off and healed quickly. I was amazed it didn’t leave any mark behind like the usual scars from a bad pimple.”

Olsen isn’t the only one looking to povidone-iodine—sometimes called just iodine—as a treatment for acne. Its TikTok has had 1.2 million views, with many people leaving comments on how the solution is being used in different countries and cultures.

“In Armenian homes, it is common to use iodine when patients have a sore throat, cough, or cold. They use an iodine swab to draw a mesh on the throat, chest, and back,” Olsen said. “We have people from Armenia, the Philippines, Poland, and Mexico who confirm they do it, too.”

As for its use on pimples, dDermatologists aren’t surprised that a cleanser can result in clearer skin. However, people who have heard about the TikTok trend should be aware of some of the risks. Before introducing the solution into your skincare regimen, here’s what experts say you should know.

Povidone-iodine reduces bacteria, so it could have some benefits in eliminating acne.


Iodine prevents infections More than 150 years old. You may have seen iodine solutions in hospital offerings; Doctors often use them on the operating table or while cleaning. The antiseptic can be used to prepare the skin for non-surgical procedures as well.

Povidone-iodine is available over the counter in various forms, including liquid, dry powder spray, and ointment. The main purpose of topical solutions is to treat small cuts, burns, and scrapes.

“When povidone-iodine dries on the skin, it acts as an antiseptic by quickly penetrating bacteria and other microorganisms, oxidizing key proteins and fatty acids, causing those microbes to die,” Chwake said. “The fact that it works so quickly to kill those microbes is why it’s used to clean the skin before surgeries — to prevent infection.”

Generally, disinfectants contain chemicals called biocides that are used Kill and control growth for some organisms. Povidone-iodine can kill bacteria in A matter of minutes or even seconds.

“It reduces bacteria on the skin, which can lead to improvement in acne,” said Choacki. “It is known that topical antibiotics and lotions can improve acne. This is why many people use benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin, and sulfur lotions to help improve acne.”


Before adding iodine to your skin care routine, here are some caveats.

Although povidone-iodine is safe to use, Dr. Jishree Sharad, a cosmetic dermatologist at Skinfinitii Aesthetic Skin and Laser in India, told HuffPost that it shouldn’t be used regularly.

“One might get irritation from povidone-iodine,” Sharad said, adding that it should be “only an SOS treatment for a day or two, if nothing else is available.”

In addition, it may cause dissolution hyperpigmentationIt is a condition in which patches of skin become darker than the surrounding areas. This may appear as freckles or age spots.

“Popping pustules can further damage the skin and lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, especially in skin of color,” Sharad said. “It can lead to a secondary bacterial infection.”


Although the solution can help disinfect the skin, it is important to test any product before using it.

“There’s also a very good reason why iodine is never recommended,” Choacki said. “Povidone-iodine should not be left on the skin for long periods of time. It must be washed off, otherwise it can cause severe contact dermatitis.”

Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when The immune system reacts to certain substances, even in small quantities. Contact allergies can cause a red rash, swelling, and itchy or dry skin. Therefore, you may want to be careful before applying it all over your face.

“There isn’t a board-certified dermatologist alive who hasn’t experienced a contact allergy with iodine. That’s why I always caution people against using medical supplies indiscriminately on your skin, which to some may seem counterintuitive.”

Instead, if you’re looking for a way to prevent acne or a bacterial infection from a popping pimple, Shawaki recommended topical medications and antimicrobials that keep your pores clear.


“I love a gentle benzoyl peroxide wash, or hypochlorous acid lotion or spray,” he said.

Are you looking for some great acne treatments? Check out the list below.

HuffPost may receive share from purchases made via links on this page. Each item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.

Benzoyl peroxide cream is suitable for dry and sensitive skin

Both Camp and Amin recommend La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Duo Treatment, which contains a 5.5% concentration of benzoyl peroxide in a cream formula suitable for dry and sensitive skin types. The benzoyl peroxide in this micronized treatment, [which] easy to penetrate.”


A non-drying, self-dissolving mini pimple patch

Amin said that acne spots have a triple mechanism of action when it comes to treating pimples: “[They] It mechanically absorbs oil and dirt, blocking stains increases topical penetration of the active ingredients, and keeps you from picking up pests.”

He recommended the ZitSticka Killa Kit due to the acne breakout’s ability to help not only treat superficial pimples that have already developed, but also get to the rising pimples.
“[These patches] It features salicylic acid and enhances product penetration with its micro-dart system. Amin said the product is less drying than most because it contains hyaluronic acid. It also contains niacinamide, which can help reduce redness and calm inflammation.

A cult-favorite drying lotion that draws out impurities from surface pimples

“This acne treatment contains sulfur and salicylic acid to treat acne synergistically,” Camp said of Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion. The sulfur in this formula works by drawing out impurities, while salicylic acid banishes redness and zinc oxide absorbs excess oil to effectively dry and reduce breakouts overnight.

A topical retinoid gel that helps control acne formation

“Differin (adapalene) gel is a great place to start when developing an acne treatment regimen that prevents and treats breakouts. It’s a mild, well-tolerated product that’s similar to retinol and can be used for the entire face, as well as for a spot treatment,” Amin told HuffPost.

Camp explained that adapalene, previously only available by prescription, is a retinoid and works by helping to regulate cell turnover in the skin, which ultimately helps control the formation of whiteheads and blackheads.


A clear, acne-preventive patch that can be worn during the day

Unlike acne stickers with the tiny darts mentioned earlier, these hydrocolloid patches lie flat on blemishes and, according to Camp, work by “using a hydrocolloid to draw moisture and oil from surface acne bumps and shrink them.”

He added that these patches are a good option to hide pimples because they are very thin and transparent and come in different sizes and can be applied under makeup, which makes it difficult to see them.

LED red and blue light therapy device with antibacterial properties

This isn’t necessarily a spot treatment, but it really can get the job done and we can’t leave it off the list.

“Light therapy wands use blue and red LED lights to treat acne. Blue light has antibacterial properties and red light may act as an anti-inflammatory,” Camp told HuffPost.

This USB rechargeable light therapy system from Spa Sciences Claro comes with a red and blue light therapy head and is one of the most affordable light therapy systems on the market. Suitable for sensitive skin, it can reduce the appearance of both acne and acne scars and improve skin clarity while preventing new pimples from forming. It also has a built in timer so you know how long to use it.


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