Iodine allergy symptoms may be a true reaction to an iodine allergy or a reaction to other allergens affecting your body.

Known Causes

Betadine solution, which contain 10% Povidone iodine, is often used on the skin for first aid procedures and as a disinfectant prior to surgery.

This can cause a sudden skin reaction and can be potentially dangerous.

In a perfect world, a skin scratch test could be performed to determine if you are allergic to the iodine solution.

However, it becomes your responsibility as the patient to report previous reactions to iodine prior to any procedure.

Oftentimes, the contrast media dye injected into the body for echocardiograms or computed tomography (CT) scans may result in an allergic reaction.

A detailed explanation of how this dye works and what alternatives are available can be found at Intelhealth.

There are other contrast medias available which would lower the incidence of reactions.

You need to ask your care provider for a safer alternative.

Iodine Allergy Symptoms - Reactions

The severity of these reactions depends upon your body's ability to fight an allergen.

These reactions would be immediate and would manifest with :

  • Labored breathing
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Swelling of the throat
  • Nausea
  • Flushing
  • Fever
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Loss of consciousness

These anaphylactic symptoms may also include dizziness and asthma.

If left untreated, this allergic attack can be fatal.

The reaction occurs not because the individual is allergic to the iodine, rather there is a release of histamines in the body.

This is due to a reaction to other components in the contast dye.

Immediate treatment must be administered through an epinephrine injection to arrest the histamine reaction in the body.

Iodine Studies

Surprisingly, studies show that people who have an iodine allergy are not allergic to iodide.

Iodide can be synthesized or used by the body. This is important to know because most topical antibiotics contain iodide and will not harm you.

Some individuals may experience only a mild skin reaction to these creams.


A skin reaction to iodine would appear as hives, itching or a rash. This can be treated with an oral antihistamine obtained over the counter such as benadryl.

If you have experienced a severe allergic attack in the past, you should carry an epinephrine pen to stop the onset of an attack.

Safety Precaution

Be proactive with your iodine allergy.

Wear an alert bracelet which says "Allergic to Iodine in All Forms".

Place a card in your billford, wallet and on your cell phone. This is extremely important. Your life depends on it.

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