Iodine Allergy

Iodine Allergy - Symptoms, Treatment, Other Forms of ReactionsAllergy to iodine refers to varieties of drug intolerance and it is not a widespread disease.

Allergy Tests at Walk-In Lab

The iodine does not induce an allergic reaction, but getting inside the body or on the skin, a microelement enters into a special reaction, which produces a foreign protein to the organism, and the existence of this element causes the development of allergic symptoms.

The toxic effect of iodine can also be associated with an overdose of iodine-containing medicine or with the chronic diseases of internal systems and organs.

The contemporary pharmaceutical industry develops and manufactures a lot of medications, which include microelement iodine; thus, the negative reaction of the organism may appear while using:

  •  alcohol and aqueous iodine solution;
  •  X-ray contrast agents for intravascular applying. Biligrafin, Urografin, Lipiodol, Yodamin and other drugs are often applied in the survey. Each of them contains iodine in varying concentration;
  •  medicines for curing of thyroid cancer, such as Antistrumin, Mikroyod, Tireokomb, Thyroxine and others;
  •  antiseptic medicines – Iodinol, Iodoform, Yodovidona;
  •  Iodine is also contained in other drugs used for internal and external use: Dermazolon, Hiniofon, Komplan, Miodil etc.

Iodine Allergy Symptoms

Iodine is usually applied on skin: alcohol tincture of iodine is frequently used for the application of the grid for colds, for disinfecting wounds and for the curing of other skin changes, therefore, the reactions to this remedy is found in external use of it.

Skin reaction to this microelement is so specific that it has received its own name in medicine – iodine allergic rash.

On the whole, the clinical signs of iodine allergy are divided into two groups – dermatological and systemic manifestations.

Systemic manifestations of iodine allergy:

  •  Erythema of the skin of the neck and face;
  •  Difficulty in breathing, development of increasing breathlessness;
  •  Allergic rhinitis – is a swelling of the nasal mucosa, accompanied by a watery nasal discharge and nasal congestion;
  •  Face swelling;
  •  Bronchospasm – a sudden narrowing of the bronchi with shortness of breath;
  •  Angioedema – can be localized not just in the space of direct contact with the stimulus of allergy, but it often extends to other areas of the body. In the case of facial lesions the person cannot open his or her eyes (it happens as a result of the swelling of the eyelids), and it is complicated for him or her to speak if the process affects the tongue and lips;
  •  Anaphylaxis.

The dermatological symptoms of intolerance of microelement:

  •  Rash of pink or red color;
  •  Rash in the shape of bubbles with serous contents;
  •  Application of iodine often causes hyperemia and swelling of the skin;
  •  The emergence of skin itch;
  •  Multiform erythema or the extension of Stevens – Johnson symptoms;
  •  Skin redness;
  •  Bullous toxic dermatitis is very rare and it is connected frequently with the use of contrast substance with iodine during the medical testing;

Iodine allergy can also cause disruptions in heart rhythm, and in heavy cases, renal failure. Serious threat to health occurs when the drug is injected intramuscularly or intravenously, so the usage of contrast substance should always be carried out by experienced health worker, able to ensure expert assistance in the development of anaphylactic shock.


Oftentimes the allergists in their practice face with the phenomenon iodism –the adverse manifestations of allergy to iodides. The mucous membranes immediately react to the substances introduced into the body and the growth of stronger symptoms is possible.
The patient has complaints on:

  •  The feeling of metallic taste in the mouth;
  •  Pain in the gums, tongue and throughout the oral cavity;
  •  The development of lacrimation and redness of the eye sclera;
  •  The feeling of a slight burning sensation in the respiratory tract;
  •  Increased salivation;
  •  The specific iodine acne can appear: rash on the face and less on the whole body;
  •  Allergic rhinitis;
  •  Some patients have ioderma – this is a toxic dermatitis with blisters, purpura and swelling;

Iodizm can sometimes be accompanied by fever and intestinal disorders. More often these symptoms appear when the patient with prolonged time uses the medicine with iodine, especially if there is no health-based evidence for it.

Iodine Allergy Treatment

The methods of treatment of iodine symptoms do not differ from other types of allergies.
Firstly, it is vital to rule out all the iodine-containing medications; it will as quick as possible neutralize the existence of specific reactions. Also, all kinds of seafood are excluded from the ration.

Secondly, it is needful to organize the medical treatment of allergy. Use of modern remedy, their choice and dosage will hang upon the clinical intolerance and the patient’s age group.
If an allergic reaction to the microelement is appeared as iodism, the patient is prescribed the following treatment:

  •  Calcium chloride is intravenously assigned, generally 10 injections are used.
  •  The fractional light diet without iodized salt and seafood is prescribed.
  •  The antihistamine tablets or injections are prescribed.
  •  The medications with iodine are excluded from the course of therapy.
  •  Enzyme preparations and probiotics are used to restore of intestinal microflora and enhance the work of the immune system.
  •  Enterosorbents, for example Polysorb, activated carbon, to purgation the intestines and the body from the toxins are assigned.
  •  Skin symptoms – itching, rash, dermatitis is removed with the help of anti-inflammatory and antihistamine ointments, emulsions.

In the future, if the symptoms do not vanish or begin to grow it is significant to consult the doctor who will choose the tactics of the healing.

Other Forms of Reactions to Iodine

It should be mentioned that iodine refers to the most common histamine liberator – substances which lead to the release of histamine by direct effects on mast cells (immunoglobulin E in this case are not synthesized). This phenomenon is called pseudo allergy, or false allergy. This kind of reaction is described as a good tolerability of small amount of iodine and the appearance of clinical manifestations with the increasing doses or prolonged use of it.

But it is practicable to define the amount of immunoglobulin E in the patient’s blood in the laboratory conditions: if its level is high, it is the true allergy indeed.