Educational/Dermatology


Informational drafts on Dermatological subjects in a complete and simplified form.
For further info write to: info@dermaclub.org






Educational/Dermatology - Potassium permanganate


Potassium Permanganate Topical Solution, a disinfectant that must not be forgotten

Potassium Permanganate (chemical formula KMnO4) Topical Solution is one of the most useful disinfectants and it is used by many dermatologists.

How does it work

It works as an oxidant therefore particularly active on bacteria; it is an astringent agent and has both anti-inflammatory and anti-itch activity. This is a unique property that no other antiseptic displays, ie Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizing agent as well, but it has an irritative effect on wounds; ie Chlorine and Derivatives are excellent disinfectants but they exert also irritative activity.

 
When to use

Disinfectants are usually applied on wounds, ulcers, bedsores, or dermatitis; in all these cases potassium permanganate topical solution with its antiseptic, astringent and anti-inflammatory activity is unreplaceable. Dermatologists recommend its application both on wounds / ulcers and dermatitis. On Wounds / ulcers it is used as a compress to be left in place for a long time according to instructions of the dermatologist.

 
Its use in Dermatitis

In Dermatitis it is primarily used as a sanitizer replacing the common washing with water and detergents that worsen dermatitic processes. In these cases, the Potassium Permanganate Topical Solution washing is called "dry-washing " because the purpose is wetting the skin as little as possible to avoid dermatitis worsening.

 
“Dry-washing” tips

In order to proceed with a correct “dry-washing” it is recommended to soak a cotton cloth with the solution (see formula) and squeeze out the solution until the cloth is barely damp. Then rub gently the skin for cleansing and disinfecting. You can wash your hair in this way if you suffer from scalp dermatitis. It is also useful to remove make-up or for face cleansing if you suffer from eyelid or face dermatitis.

 
Its use in eczema and burns

The Potassium Permanganate Topical Solution is the dressing for all eczema or allergic dermatitis because of its anti-inflammatory and antipruritic properties. In burns it is the ideal disinfectant because it acts as an antiseptic as well as an astringent by reducing pain. Other disinfectants do increase pain.

 
Safety of use

Despite all the positive properties, the Potassium Permanganate Topical Solution is little used. This is due on one side because pharmacists believe, wrongly, that it is a poisonous substance. Actually, when ingested it causes severe gastric irritation, but the dermatologic dilution has no toxicity. The safety profile of Potassium Permanganate Topical Solution is very high and anyway higher than the majority of disinfectants.

 
The preparation - formula

Potassium permanganate, once sold in 250 mg tablets, today must be prepared by the pharmacist and the unit dose is 125 mg. The solution must be prepared at home according to the following instructions:
Warm up one liter of tap water in a pot until it boils.
At this point add the unit dose of potassium permanganate (125 mg) previously weighed and packaged by the pharmacist.
Let the solution boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then turn off the fire.
When the solution has cooled, pour it in one or more dark glass bottles/containers (the solution is light sensitive and when oxidized it loses its effectiveness.)
You must label the bottle/container with the text "disinfectant or potassium permanganate." In this way potassium permanganate solution can be stored active for more than a month.