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Dermatology. 1997;195 Suppl 2:89-92.

Cytotoxicity and sensitization of povidone-iodine and other frequently used anti-infective agents.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Potsdam, Germany.


Povidone-iodine is an antiseptic widely used in dermatology. In vitro experiments showed a certain cytotoxicity, yet it is not easy to transfer these toxicological data to in vivo circumstances. In vivo investigations in animals and in humans could exclude cytotoxic effects of povidone-iodine, measured by the wound healing process. Only when administered in combination with detergents was an obvious cytotoxicity seen in wounds but not on the intact skin. In comparison to the frequently used antibiotic neomycin, the sensitization rate of povidone-iodine is very low.

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