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  5. Benefits Of Iodine For Your Skin + How To Use It

Did you know that iodine has a significant influence on both your body and skin? Your body uses iodine to make hormones in your thyroid gland.

Proper iodine levels play an essential role in your metabolic processes and help in the flawless functioning of your immune system. Therefore, you need to maintain your daily dose of this mineral [1], for a healthy body and skin.

Read on to know the vital role of this mineral, its skin benefits and side effects.

What Does Iodine Do To Your Skin?

Iodine is a vital component that controls the proper functioning of your thyroid gland. The thyroid needs iodine to produce hormones for metabolism, and for bone and brain development. Iodine deficiency can lead to multiple health issues [2] and may also impact your skin and hair.

In case of iodine deficiency, fluorine and chlorine can be used by your thyroid gland. However, these two halogens are toxic to your cells and can damage your cell function. Additionally, over-consumption of iodine can take a toll on your skin as well. Here are some common symptoms of too little and too much intake of iodine on your skin.

1. Dry and flaky skin:

A study shows that about 77% of people with low thyroid hormone levels experience dry skin. Iodine deficiency can reduce the rate of skin cell regeneration, often leading to dry, flaky skin [3].

2. Less sweating:

Iodine helps to detoxify your body through sweating. As thyroid hormones help regulate sweating, iodine deficiency can lead to less sweating than people with normal thyroid hormone levels [4]. Sweating keeps your skin hydrated and moist. A lack of sweating discourages detoxification and can also dry out your skin.

3. Acne breakouts:

Iodine helps regulate hormones that can otherwise lead to acne breakouts. Excess consumption of iodine can cause acne breakouts, especially in adolescents.

Benefits Of Iodine For Skin

Having adequate iodine in your body not only aids in the normal secretion of thyroid hormones but also helps to keep your skin healthy and smooth. Here are the key benefits of having sufficient iodine through your regular diet or supplements.

1. Skin Hydration

Sufficient iodine intake through your meals helps to regulate your perspiration and keeps your skin moist. But make sure that your iodine consumption is optimum, and not excessive. Too much iodine in your system can lead to the opposite effect.

2. Body Detoxification

Iodine plays a vital role in detoxifying your body from halides like fluoride, bromide & chlorine. Halides can cause multiple illnesses like cysts, fibroids in different body parts, fibrocystic breast disease, and even cancers of reproductive organs. Iodine can prevent you from those diseases by flushing out halides from your system.

You can detox your body from heavy metals like cadmium, lead, mercury, and aluminum with a regular iodine intake. Iodine allows your body to pass these toxins out of your system.

3. Skin Healing

Being a natural disinfectant, iodine can be used on cuts and scars to speed up the healing process. It aids in repairing your skin, heals scars and blemishes faster, and stops them from getting infected.

4. Skin Rejuvenation

Iodine also aids in promoting healthy skin, nails, and hair [5]. It helps in cellular function and regeneration [6] of the lower layers of your skin. By rejuvenating the skin from the inner layers, iodine can provide a smooth complexion, healthy and shiny hair, and strong nails. Adequate iodine in your body helps to strengthen your hair follicles and improve hair growth. So, a deficiency can lead to hair loss or thinning hair.

How To Use Iodine For Healthy Skin?

Being a trace element, the human body needs iodine in smaller amounts to keep your body healthy and well-functioning. The United States Institute of Medicine recommends that the daily intake of iodine for a person depends on their age and sex.

So, children need about 90-130 micrograms of iodine per day, adults need 150 micrograms per day, and a pregnant woman needs 220 micrograms of iodine in a day. Sufficient iodine consumption helps you to have healthy and well-hydrated skin.

Did You Know?

Multiple foods are natural resources of iodine, such as cranberries, sea vegetables, organic yogurt, strawberries, cheese, potatoes, eggs, salts, and shrimp.

You can even apply iodine directly to your skin. A 5% iodine solution is ideal for this purpose. It is easy to apply and gets quickly absorbed into the skin. For optimum results, you should apply the solution over your thyroid gland area or near it so that your thyroid can efficiently utilize the iodine. Here are the steps:

  • Take a small amount of iodine using a dropper or a rollerball and apply it on your skin.
  • Make sure the iodine is dry enough and does not stain skin or clothing.
  • Don't forget to rotate the spot of iodine application. Otherwise, regular application of iodine on the same spot can damage the skin in the area.
  • Don’t take a shower right after applying iodine.

You can also apply povidone-iodine to your skin to treat facial acne. A study shows that the antiseptic property of this iodine allows it to be used for treating acne. It also helps you to avoid problems associated with long-term antibiotic use for acne treatment.

You can apply 3% povidone-iodine solution or ointment directly to the affected areas on the face. You must apply the solution or cream to the affected areas using your fingertips, avoiding the surrounding area.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Using Iodine On Skin?

Applying iodine on your skin directly may stain it temporarily. Regular application on the same spot may also dry out your skin in the region. There is also a slight chance of getting too much iodine through direct application. However, your body will stop absorbing the iodine when it has enough.

Generally, a moderate amount of iodine intake through iodized salt or food does not cause any side effects. The excess iodine in your body is regularly flushed out through the urine.

However, iodine can act as an allergen for some people. People with iodine sensitivities show different types of symptoms. Here are some instances:

  • People with sensitive skin may show allergic reactions to topical iodine application. It can cause redness and pain as well. In general, this reaction is self-limited and resolves on its own within a few hours.
  • In severe cases of iodine sensitivity, people may show symptoms like chemical burns on the application of povidone-iodine as an antiseptic [7].
  • Some kinds of seafood with high iodine content can cause an allergic reaction. Sensitive people may show symptoms like swelling, redness, pain, warmth, oozing, and other signs of infection.

If your iodine solution causes severe irritation, itching, or burning, immediately stop the application and consult your dermatologist immediately.


If you’re applying iodine for the first time on your skin, do a patch test to check if you are sensitive to it.

Wrapping Up

Iodine not only influences healthy skin, but also supports your entire body’s well-being. By regulating thyroid hormone levels and your body’s metabolism, iodine helps in several body functions and also rejuvenates your skin and hair. In case of iodine deficiency, you may suffer from hypothyroidism [8]. This is a condition in which the human body can’t produce enough thyroid hormone.

If you are suffering from dry and flaky skin, hair loss, thinning hair, weight problems, etc., do check the iodine or thyroid hormone level in your system. If you have been diagnosed with iodine deficiency, it is better to monitor your thyroid hormone levels regularly.

Meta: An irregularity in the body’s iodine levels can lead to various health issues, including skin problems. Find out how iodine can benefit your skin & the best ways you to use it for glowing skin.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin

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