If your doctor prescribed potassium permanganate to clear up a skin infection, you might feel a little confused about how to use it. Potassium permanganate is a chemical that can fight against the infection to help it clear up. We know you have some questions about working with potassium permanganate, so we’ll cover how to mix and apply it so you heal faster!
What do I use potassium permanganate for?
1. Use it as a prescription disinfectant for eczema, ulcers, or wounds. Potassium permanganate has antiseptic and astringent properties, so it will help get rid of bacteria and dry out your wound. Expert Source Expert Interview. 14 May 2021. Even though you’ll typically use it for soaking your hands or feet, it works anywhere on your body. However, you’ll need a prescription to get some from your doctor, so contact them and let them know about your condition.
- Water treatment facilities also use potassium permanganate on raw water to control bad odors and tastes, and to remove iron and manganese.
How do I prepare a potassium permanganate solution?
1. Dilute a 400 mg tablet in 4 L (1.1 US gal) of water. Line a large bucket or container with a plastic bag and fill it with water that’s warm but not too hot to handle. Drop one of the prescription tablets into the water. Put on a rubber glove and gently agitate the water until the tablet dissolves completely. Expert Source Expert Interview. 14 May 2021. The solution will have a pale pink color when it’s ready.
- Your doctor will normally prescribe tablets, they may instead give you a potassium permanganate solution that’s already premixed with water. That way, you don’t have to make it yourself.
How do I use a potassium permanganate wash?
1. Soak the wounded area in the solution for 10–15 minutes each day. If the wound is on your hands or feet, ease the affected area into the solution until it’s completely submerged. Leave your wound in the solution for at least 10 minutes but no longer than 15 minutes. Expert Source Expert Interview. 14 May 2021. When you’re finished, rinse your skin with clean water.
- Avoid using soap or detergent when you rinse the potassium permanganate off, or else it could create an unpleasant odor. You’ll usually have a 5-day treatment, but it may vary depending on what your doctor recommends for your condition.
2. Apply the solution with a cotton swab or gauze if you can’t easily submerge the wound. On any other wound, soak a cotton swab or piece of gauze in the solution. Gently hold the swab or gauze against your wound and let it sit for 10 minutes. If it starts drying out, rewet the swab or gauze in the solution so it stays moist.
- You might have some slight stinging when you use potassium permanganate, but that’s normal. If the sensation feels worse after you remove the swab, then rinse the area thoroughly with water.
How do I get rid of potassium permanganate?
1. Flush the solution down the toilet. Your potassium permanganate stains most containers, but it won’t stain your toilet. Slowly pour the solution into your toilet so you don’t spill it. Flush your toilet and let the water run through it. Once it stops, flush it one more time to ensure there isn’t any left in your toilet bowl.
- Never pour the potassium permanganate solution into drinking water, runoff drains, or on the ground since it’s toxic to the environment.
2. Take any leftover or expired tablets to a pharmacy. If you have extra tablets that you aren’t using, call your local pharmacy and see if they offer drug disposal. Bring the tablets in their original container and hand it to the pharmacist so they can get rid of them properly.
How do I store potassium permanganate tablets?
1. Keep the tablets in a cool, dry place away from other medicines. Choose a cupboard that pets or children can’t get into so they can’t access the tablets. Try to find a place that’s separate from other oral medications or food so there isn’t any risk of confusion or contamination. Keep the potassium permanganate in its original, labeled container.
- Avoid placing the tablets near heat sources since it could ignite the potassium permanganate.
Can I drink potassium permanganate?
1. No, potassium permanganate is not for internal use. If you’re given a prescription, don’t take the tablets by mouth or drink the solution since it can cause inflammation in your airways or fatal organ failure. If you do somehow get any of the solution in your mouth, rinse it out with clean water and drink fluids to help flush out your system. Then, call a medical professional to ask if there’s anything else you need to do.
- Even though potassium permanganate is used for water treatment, it’s filtered out by the time you drink it.
2. Solid potassium permanganate can burn your digestive tract. Avoid consuming any potassium permanganate that’s in crystal or tablet form. Since they’re so heavily concentrated, they can cause a lot of complications in your stomach and form ulcers that could damage your body. If you accidentally swallow some, immediately drink a lot of water and call a doctor. Trustworthy Source Journal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of Health
What are the side effects of potassium permanganate?
1. You might get irritated or dry skin if it’s not diluted properly. Make sure you always dilute the potassium permanganate following your doctor’s instructions. If the solution has a bright pink or purple color, then add more water since it’s too strong. You’ll also get dry skin if you soak in the solution for too long, so be sure to keep it under 15 minutes.
- Avoid getting the solution in your eyes, nose, or ears.
2. Potassium permanganate will stain skin, floors, clothes, and containers. Potassium permanganate has a bright purple or pink color and leaves behind brown stains. Work in a room that has hard flooring and line it with plastic sheeting to catch any spills. Line the bucket or bowl with a bag as well. Wear gloves and an apron while you’re mixing the solution so you don’t get any on your clothes.
- Chemical stains on fabric and carpet are permanent, but potassium permanganate will fade from your skin over a few weeks.
How can I remove potassium permanganate stains?
1. Scrub your skin with equal parts vinegar and 3% hydrogen peroxide. Combine regular white vinegar with hydrogen peroxide in a bowl. Gently scrub your skin with the solution to lighten any stains that you still have. Wash your hands with soap and water after to clean off the vinegar and peroxide.
- Avoid using hydrogen peroxide and vinegar around your wound until it heals since it can cause irritation.
2. Prevent stains by covering your skin with petroleum jelly. Right before you soak your wound, take some Vaseline or petroleum jelly and smear it over your skin, especially around your nails and nail beds. That way, the potassium permanganate won’t reach your skin or leave unsightly stains.