This Simple Betadine Cure For Acne Will Surprise You

Betadine for pimples?

If you’ve ever had surgery, or saw it in action as a spectator, then you’re familiar with that brown liquid applied to cleanse the skin pre-incision. Well, that ‘brown stuff’ is called Povidone-iodine—brand name, Betadine—and it just might be the miracle pimple solution you’ve been looking for.

Povidone-iodine is a non-irritating antiseptic solution that works by slowly releasing iodine into the skin to kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses that cause or perpetuate infections and wounds. The mere bacteria that cause pimples wouldn’t stand a chance.

But don’t go rubbing this stuff all over your face as a just-in-case measure. According to researchers at UCLA, we all possess acne-causing bacteria, but there are good and bad strains, which explains why some of us suffer horrific breakouts and some of us don’t. “We learned that not all acne bacteria trigger pimples,” explains Dr. Huiying Li, assistant professor of molecular and medical pharmacology at UCLA. “One strain may actually help keep skin healthy.”

The best way to use Povidone-iodine to effectively wipe out a breakout without harming the friendly bacteria: apply it as an overnight spot treatment. Dab it on pimples you can actually see as well as the ones that you can feel festering under the surface of your skin. The Povidone-iodine will heal the infection on the surface and even blast the bacteria in a burgeoning blemish before it peaks, allowing for prompt healing without leaving a scar.

To avoid defeating the purpose, use a sterile cotton swab. Our pick: Betadine Swab Aid Antiseptic Pads, $13. And no popping or picking! Sit on your hands if you have to.


Is acne the basic bane of your existence? Face oil might actually help.
Plus, lasers can come in really handy (Isolaz!) both for acne and scars.


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  • Alan

    tried this treatment before i even read this until i searched for it. it worked good for me though….

  • annie Lizstan

    I got really good result by using Zeroblem from solvaderm brand. Zeroblem is a dermatologist-developed spot treatment designed to clear up breakouts quickly by intensively targeting and healing unsightly, sore blemishes

  • bradly

    I’ve been using providone iodine in my body wash for 6 months and my acne has cleared up on my face and shoulders!

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  • Wow. I’m so sorry, but I cannot disagree with this more. As an Acne Specialist I can tell you, iodine irritates pore linings something fierce, and indeed will aggravate a breakout ! Research has shown that ingested iodine will aggravate acne, but it has been observed by Estheticians who are acne experts that iodine can cause significant problems when applied topically as well.

    • Snoeflaeke

      Yes, iodine may aggravate acne at first, but you are being extremely mislead in making iodine the bad guy here. The truth is that most people in America who regularly eat grains or drink soda are not getting enough iodine, even with using iodized salt. What causes the breakout is the detoxification of bromine, (and chlorine and fluoride) which displaces iodine in the body. We as a nation here in America are being exposed to bromine on a daily basis and where there used to be regulations where products containing bromine had to state so, now there are no laws regulating such information legally is required to be disclosed, except in California. When first introducing iodine you very well may experience a healing crisis where you will break out, but long term will fight acne. Don’t make iodine the bad guy here- if you do, you can expect thyroid, immune, and central nervous dysfunction in the future.

      • I respectfully still disagree. While I don’t believe it’s quite the “bad guy”, as we always tell our clients to make sure to still get enough for adequate thyroid function, such as from broccoli or asparagus, none of us as far as I can tell (and I know quite a few) have ever witnessed a calming down of acne flareups after continuing iodine consumption. In fact, it’s when we find out that a client has had much iodine in their diet for a long period of time before coming to us that their acne clears significantly when they curtail, if not eliminate, those foods that contain the most iodine, such as liver, yogurt, shellfish and supplements containing kelp. Your theory may be sound, but in practice I’ve just never seen it play out.

        • Bletta

          Sorry, but I’ve gotta go with snowflake on this one… I’ve actually tested their theory and proven it to be fairly effective on my end. Maybe ask some people to test it so that you can see some visual proof.

        • tee

          yes, iodine works on pimples. no need to buy expensive medications or see “specialists”. the american diet IS a major cause of acne. meds for acne are just another way to capitalize on peoples grief. dab a bit of iodine on a pimple before going to bed and you will see it dries up significantly by the next morning

        • Tessa

          Iodine causing acne also depends on if you are still ingesting products that contain bromine, chlorine, and/or fluoride. Iodine is a very potent blood purifier and if you are ingesting these substances on a continual basis, they will come to the surface over and over again thanks to the iodine (if you are also taking iodine on a continual basis). With iodine you have to commit one way or another, there’s not much of a middle ground. As long as you are still ingesting sources of halides (tap water, brominated flour, sodas and sports drinks) you are still not actually getting to the cause of the acne, which is halides at least in the instance we are currently discussing). There is obviously a lot of factors at play here including a clogged liver but making iodine the enemy here is definitely a mistake, one that could end in thyroid issues and the weight/mood imbalances that accompany it, or even cancer. Iodine kills cancer cells, but like all good things, balance is key.

    • Michelle

      If Iodine causes an aggravated breakout it usually because the person with the breakout has an overpopulation of the demodex skin mite. Die off of the mite causes a huge breakout and there are many reports on the internet (especially on of the amazing efficacy of iodine used topically. “Research” is usually conducted by Big Pharma who has no interest in people healing themselves cheaply and without their useless products.

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  • walter

    Super interesting. I gotta try this!

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