What Is Tincture of Iodine Used For?

Walgreen's Pharmacy indicates that tincture of iodine is a topical medication used to prevent infection in minor scrapes, cuts and burns. Iodine tincture should not be used on animal bites or over large areas of the body. Iodine tincture helps to treat minor injuries when applied one to three times daily to the affected area.

Drugs.com explains that tincture of iodine works by killing infection-causing bacteria in minor cuts and scrapes. The side effects of tincture of iodine include blistering, irritation and redness of the skin. If iodine tincture is swallowed, the side effects include strong thirst, vomiting and diarrhea.

According to Walmart, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult with a physician before using iodine tincture. If iodine tincture is accidentally ingested, it is important to call poison control immediately. Iodine can be diluted in the stomach by immediately drinking a glass of milk followed by a mixture of 2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 1 pint of water.

WebMD explains that iodine can also be applied to the mucosal lining in the mouth to relieve mouth sores and ulcers in diabetic patients. Iodine is also applied topically to the skin to treat sporotrichosis, a fungal skin disease.