Cass has been having a bad patch of eczema on her right big toe for over a year. At times it seems to get better and at times, it would flare up and gets so itchy that Cass would scratch her toe till the skin breaks and bleeds. I think it must have been caused by the detergent used to wash her school shoes. I recently discovered that our part-time helper did not rinse off the detergent thoroughly. When I touched the shoes, they were still very soapy.
Cass’s pediatrician recently gave her Potassium Permanganate Solution to soak the affected foot and Beprosalic ointment for topical application.
Potassium permanganate, when diluted, is a mild antiseptic and astringent (something that dries the skin). It is for external use only.
Potassium permanganate has a bright purplish color, reminding me of the color of ‘Barney’ the purple dinosaur. Cass likes to see how I add drops of the purple solution into a container of water and seeing the dark purple color solution turn into a lighter shade of purple.
Uses of Potassium Permanganate
Potassium permanganate treats many skin infections, including eczema, canker sores, dermatitis, acne, vaginal thrush and vulvovaginitis. When applying to small, wet wounds, only a small amount of a very dilute solution is necessary. Larger areas, such as infected eczema on large areas of your body, particularly in the presence of blisters, pus or oozing, may require treatment with potassium permanganate water baths. These baths must contain very dilute potassium permanganate solutions. This dilution is essential, as potassium permanganate crystals and concentrated solutions burn skin. Even dilute solutions can irritate skin and repeated use may cause burns.
Potassium permanganate wet soaks treat blistering wounds such as ulcers and abscesses. The astringent action dries out blisters, preparing them for further treatment. The broad antimicrobial properties kill bacteria, algae and viruses at varying concentrations, decreasing the potential for secondary wound infections.
Potassium permanganate foot soaks treat fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. Symptoms of these conditions include itching or burning, usually between the toes, as well as redness or a scaly skin appearance associated with the feeling as if your foot is on fire. These symptoms are relieved by killing or inhibiting the growth of the fungus using the oxidizing action of potassium permanganate. The affected foot is soaked in a solution of potassium permanganate dissolved in water for about 15 minutes twice a day for two to three weeks. One side effect of this treatment is that your foot will temporarily turn brown from the potassium permanganate.