Potassium Permanganate

Medication Information Leaflet

​What is this medication for?

This medication is a skin disinfectant and cleansing agent. It is used for infected and oozy eczema (skin rash) and for drying wet wounds. 

How should I use this medication?

Potassium permanganate may be supplied in crystals or as a solution.

a) If given as Potassium Permanganate 0.1% Solution:

  •  Dilute 1 part of the solution to 8 parts water (e.g. 10ml of solution added to 80ml of water) to a light purple colour solution.

b) If given as crystals:

  •  Dissolve a few crystals in a container of water. Dilute it to a light purple colour solution.

Then use the solution as follows:

  • Bath
    • Fill the tub with the solution and use for bathing.
  • Compress
    • Wet strips of cotton or gauze in the solution slightly. Wrap the strips around the affected areas.
    • Keep the strips in place for 10 minutes. If they dry out, add more solution.
  • Soak
    • Fill a bathtub or a basin with enough solution to soak the affected areas. Soak for about 10 minutes.
  • Wash
    • Dip cotton or gauze in the solution and use it to wash the affected areas.

What precautions should I take?

  • Do not make the solution too concentrated or use crystals directly on affected areas as these will irritate and burn the skin.
  • Dab dry after use. It is not necessary to rinse off with clean water.
  • Use either warm or cool water to make the solution.
  • Potassium permanganate may stain the skin, nails and light clothing a brown colour.
  • To remove fresh stains from the skin, rub over with a damp tablet of vitamin C.

What are rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children. 

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.




Please take note that the above is not a complete list of all possible side effects. If you have any concerns about your medication or if you have other side effects that you think are caused by this medication, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.



Last updated on Oct 2022

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