White iodine, also known as colorless iodine, has a wde variety of unexpected applications and boasts remarkable benefits. But there are risks associated with the use of white iodine that should be fully understood before use.


Like traditional orange-brown iodine, white iodine can be used as an topical antiseptic. Unlike traditional iodine, it will not stain skin or clothes. Put two to three drops of white iodine on a cotton ball and apply to cuts and burns to ward off infection.

Nail Treatment

White iodine can be used to strengthen weak or brittle fingernails. Apply a small amount on tip of the nail (not the nail bed) and the underside of the nail tip. You should signs of improvement after one to two weeks of use.

Hair Treatment

White iodine has also been used topically as a treatment for alopecia areata, a condition associated with hair loss. Apply white iodine once a day to the affected area. Results typically appear within two to six weeks.

Nutritional Supplement

Iodine is essential to human biology and we . Food grade white iodine is used as a dietary supplement to regulate metabolism and treat thyroid deficiencies by stimulating the production of T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) hormones. It is also used in the treatment of ovarian cysts and fibrocystic breast disease. Dr. Jorge Flechas, an expert in iodine deficiency, claims success in treating insulin-resistant diabetes with iodine as well. Symptoms of iodine deficiency are weight gain, sensitivity to temperature changes and sluggishness.

Natural Sources

Before going right for the supplements, there are plenty of iodine-rich food sources. Try incorporating foods like soybeans, garlic, asparagus, mushrooms, sea salt into your diet to boost iodine levels. However, some foods tend to block iodine absorption if consumed in large quantities (cabbage, peaches, pears, spinach). Other iodine inhibitors are fluoride and chlorine found in tap water.


Allergies to iodine are common. When white iodine is used as a dietary supplement, there is risk of overdose as a safe dosage is very small (two to three drops) and can vary among individuals (somewhere between 5 and 13 mg daily). Iodine overdose is associated with thyroid disease and thyroid cancer. Signs of overdose include a metallic taste or sores in the mouth, vomiting, diarrhea and swollen salivary glands. Do not ingest white iodine unless it is food grade. If taking white iodine as a nutritional supplement, consider taking a seaweed-based supplement that contains both iodine and iodide instead.

About the Author

Lisa Dorward

Lisa Dorward was a corporate financial executive and business consultant for more than 15 years before becoming a writer in 2003. She has B.A. degrees in both history and creative writing and earned her M.F.A. in creative writing in 2008, specializing in novel-length historical fiction.