Trans-dermal, Iodine through the skin?

A lot of people start with a trans-dermal application for several reasons. Some apply it directly to issue areas to help that area of the body absorb more iodine, whether also consuming it internally, or not. Some people don’t even have specific areas to target with iodine, they just apply it to their skin till they are ready to consume it.

Other recommended nutrients

When we consume iodine, apply it to our skin, or nebulize it, it’s commonly recommended to have several other nutrients available to our cells. These extra nutrients recommended in The Iodine Protocol help our body process some of the new things iodine is about to allow our body to do.

Using Lugols on the skin

Lower strength Lugols can be applied directly to the skin but some people may have irritation if they do not dilute it enough. I do fine with a few drops of 2% directly on my skin. I can handle a few drops of 5% on my forearm where my skin is a little tougher, anywhere else will start itching from 5% though.

Some people use oil to dilute iodine by potentially slowing down its absorption and helping the iodine spread to more of our skin. As we get into the higher strengths, applying a drop to our skin can saturate the skin quickly in one spot and potentially burn us. But the oil allows the iodine to spread out before our skin is able to absorb it.

Most people use coconut oil for this. There are a handful of oils but you may want to do some research before trying different oils. We’re absorbing the oil as well as the iodine so we want to make sure it’s something that works well for our body in general.

Lugols is pretty dark, and stains the skin with an orange/dark brown color for anywhere from a few hours to a day or so. If we’ve stained something with Lugols by mistake, vitamin C can sometimes help ‘bleach’ the iodine.

More about Lugols at

Using SSKI on the skin

SSKI is clear/yellowish and contains only potassium iodide. Our body is able to use some of this and convert it to iodine but most people recommend Lugols so we get both forms. SSKI is usually much more potent than Lugols, so even a single drop spread out can still have a strong reaction if we are just introducing ourselves to iodine.

More about SSKI at

Absorption rate of skin vs ingestion

We absorb iodine pretty well via our skin, but the process is slow and iodine likes to evaporate at room temperature, so the extra temperature of our body heat causes it to turn into a gas much quicker. By the time our body has a chance to absorb the liquid, more than half of it has most likely interacted with the environment. When we apply iodine to our skin, the tissue in that area absorbs and holds it. This is why most of it will end up being gassed off, or evaporated by the time the rest of our body absorbs it.

Absorbing iodine with our skin may help us increase our levels. But it would take a lot more iodine, and a large area of skin covered in order to absorb the same about as ingesting.

Some technical information about The Bioavailability of Iodine Applied to the Skin by Guy E. Abraham, MD

The info on says we only absorb about 20% of the iodine when its applied to our skin. But something that stands out to me is they tested this on animals that do not sweat through their skin. I have a feeling we can absorb a bit more iodine than these animals, and I think adding it to hot water can alter how much we absorb.

There are potential benefits of applying iodine directly to just about any body part. Iodine is used in eye surgery which shows how we can theoretically apply it to our eyes, but that’s something that we’ll want to research before trying some random amount. This works just about anywhere else on our body.

  • People use iodine in enemas
  • They soak their feet in it to combat certain fungi-related foot discomfort which is rather common
  • People apply it directly to breasts for various issues in the area or to help maintenance levels
  • People use it on genitals for various issues in the area or to help maintenance levels
  • They apply it to their scalp
  • They apply it to their hands for various reasons including Dupuytren’s contracture
  • Some people burn wart, skin tags and moles with very high strength iodine
  • Some people nebulize iodine, which obviously isn’t transdermal but shows some of the versatility

Using iodine for anything just needs some research into that topic or at least a good understanding of what we’re doing and might be able to expect. As I have a chance to try iodine in more areas, I continue to wonder how important it might be to slowly expose our entire body to appropriate strengths for each area. While obviously being very mindful of how much we are getting overall.

Always start slow.

How much iodine?

It’s about the same situation as adding drops to our water and ingesting iodine. 1 drop of 2% might be fine when we start, but if we take another drop every few hours, or even once per day, we can eventually hit the point where we end up pushing more toxins than our body is able to handle without more nutrients. When we apply drops to our skin we just have to keep in mind how many total drops we end up with on various body parts, and how often we’re applying it.

I’ve soaked my feet a handful of times. I use 2 gallons of water and slowly work up to about a half-ounce of Lugols 5% which is roughly 4,000mg. Within about 20 minutes I started feeling a little off a few times so I stopped soaking my feet but continued to feel a little off for a few hours due to absorbing a lot of iodine and knocking some type of toxicity loose somewhere. Soaking my feet this way allowed me to stop some kind of situation that was causing my feet to itch. About a year or two into detox my feet started itching and having faint symptoms of gout. I had to soak my feet about twice a year to keep them from running into issues. Eventually, I noticed molybdenum was able to make the situation worse, but as I worked through the amount I was slowly taking, just like iodine, it helped me push something out and I no longer have to soak my feet. Molybdenum just happened to be what I was lowest on, but it seems like it can be an important nutrient in this type of situation. This seems to have something to do with generating sulfites while also having something to do with histamines. This is interesting because histamine reactions and sulfur intolerance look very similar. I have a feeling both have a lot to do with a poor ability to generate enough glutathione.

We don’t want to cover large areas of our body with iodine without knowing how we will respond. I only expose myself to small amounts of new substances and new methods of absorbing that substance. I continue to slowly increase how much I take while paying attention to what it is or is not doing for me.

Applying iodine to our shoulder or back or leg is probably not going to cause a reaction with small amounts. But applying it to something like our scalp, feet, breasts or genitals etc may not only cause a response or reaction at much lower amounts, but it may also cause a lot more detox than we might be expecting. Sometimes the first time we expose an area to iodine is able to knock a ton of stuff loose, but then getting the same amount doesn’t really do as much the next time.

When I find a fun new place to use iodine and I’m not able to find a good recommendation of how much iodine to apply to that specific and potentially sensitive area, I just start with tiny amounts at first and make sure that area can handle that well before I start adding too much. Sometimes it can take a few days to finally feel what’s being knocked loose. I’ve applied iodine to sensitive areas and been surprised my skin could handle it. But after repeating this a few days in a row my skin would start to feel raw.

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October 14, 2023

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