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What is the Difference Between Povidone Iodine and Iodophor?

What is iodophor

Iodophor is an amorphous combination of elemental iodine and Povidone. Polyvinylpyrrolidone can dissolve and disperse 9%~12% iodine, and it will appear as a purple-black liquid at this time. However, medical iodophors usually have lower concentrations (1% or less) and are light brown in color.

Iodophor has a broad-spectrum bactericidal effect and can kill bacterial propagules, fungi, protozoa, and some viruses. It is used as a bactericidal disinfectant in medical treatment. It can be used for the disinfection of skin and mucous membranes, as well as for treating burns, treating trichomonas vaginitis, fungal vaginitis, and fungal skin infections. It can also be used for disinfection of skin before surgery and other skins, skin disinfection of various injection sites, instrument soaking disinfection, and disinfection of vaginal surgery.

What is povidone-iodine

Povidone iodine is a loose complex composed of elemental iodine and a polymer carrier, and povidone acts as a carrier and a solubilizer. It is a yellow-brown to brown-red amorphous powder at room temperature. Slight odor, easily soluble in water or ethanol, the aqueous solution is acidic, insoluble in ether, chloroform, acetone, ethane, and carbon tetrachloride. The povidone-iodine aqueous solution has no shortcomings of iodine tincture, light coloring, easy to wash off, less irritation to mucous membranes, no need for ethanol deiodination, no corrosive effect, and low toxicity.

The main difference between povidone-iodine and iodophor

Povidone iodine and iodophor are strictly speaking complex iodine. The main reason is that the composition of the complexing agent is different. Iodophor is a big name, and povidone-iodine is the most commonly used variety of iodophor.

The ingredients are different:

Iodophor is complexed with alcohol and iodine plus surfactant; povidone-iodine is complexed with iodine and pvp.

Concentrations vary:

The available iodine concentration of iodophor is 0.2%, and the available iodine concentration of povidone-iodine is 5%-1%.

Different objects are used:

Iodophor is a skin disinfectant, povidone iodine is a skin and mucous membrane disinfectant.

The bactericidal effect is different:

iodophor is stronger than povidone-iodine

Iodophor has a broad-spectrum bactericidal effect and can kill bacterial propagules, fungi, protozoa, and some viruses. It can be used for pre-operation and other skin disinfection, skin disinfection of various injection sites, instrument soaking disinfection, etc.

Povidone-iodine exerts its antibacterial effect mainly through the continuous release of free iodine, and its mechanism of action is to denature and kill bacterial proteins. Effective against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. It is also used for purulent dermatitis, fungal skin infection, small area mild burns, and for disinfection of small area skin and mucous membrane wounds.

The characteristics of povidone-iodine: are broad-spectrum sterilization, strong bactericidal power, low toxicity, almost no irritation, and corrosion. Povidone iodine also has an oral solution, but it is suitable for the disinfection of livestock, especially turtles.

Specific examples of povidone-iodine use

(1) Use of 5% povidone-iodine stock solution:

1. It can be directly used for cleaning, disinfection, and treatment of trauma.

2. Skin disinfection before injection and operation.

3. It is used for soaking the perforated nails, several times a day (3-5 times), 15 minutes each time.

(2) Use of 5% povidone-iodine solution: water = 1: (1000-1500) ratio prepared diluent:

1. Soak the breeding container and sterilize it.

2. Disinfect the new turtle’s body for 30 minutes.

3. Soaking the tortoise has a certain curative effect on mild rotten skin, mild rotten nails, and early white eyes. The course of treatment is more than two weeks. For foreign diseases, it is recommended to give priority to dry maintenance, which is conducive to recovery.

4. For mild burns caused by excessive exposure to the sun, you can use this diluted solution to bathe the sick tortoise, 1 or 2 times a day, 20 minutes each time, until the improvement is obvious, and then consolidate for a few days. It can also be dry and wet feeding alternately, and when dry feeding, apply the stock solution to the affected part.

5. Let the turtle drink enough water before bathing the turtle with the medicinal liquid.


The above is the main difference between povidone-iodine and iodophor. Although povidone-iodine and iodophor both have bactericidal effects, there are still many differences in specific details. Users should pay special attention when using it. Jinbangch is a manufacturer and supplier of Povidone Iodine. If you need to buy or learn about povidone-iodine, please contact us.


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