How to remove Gentian violet stains


Gentian violet is a form of dye that is considered useful as a form of topical therapy for certain types of yeast infections. Infants and breastfeeding mothers who are diagnosed with thrush can manage the infection with the application of Gentian violet on the skin of the baby and mother. 

It is important to note that Gentian violet is usually efficient when treating yeast on the skin. Sadly, a disadvantage of using it is the deep purplish stains it leaves behind on the skin in any location it is applied or even on surfaces it comes in contact with. Read further to learn about the different techniques on how to remove Gentian violet stains. 

Steps on how to remove Gentian violet stains

Let’s take a look at the effective steps on how to remove Gentian violet stains effectively.

  • Dab Vaseline or lanolin cream around the mouth of the baby before applying Gentian violet. This will prevent the Gentian violet from being absorbed into the skin and staining the area. 
  • Any leftover Gentian violet from the skin of the baby and mother should be wiped up immediately using paper towels. This will help prevent it from soaking into the skin.
  • Fully soak a cotton swab with a small amount of isopropyl alcohol or vodka. Carefully dab at the Gentian violet stains on the skin to get rid of them. Be careful not to allow the isopropyl alcohol or vodka to touch the lips of the baby whether he/she might accidentally ingest the liquid.
  • Saturate a paper towel and use it to rinse the isopropyl alcohol or vodka from the skin of the mother and baby. The moist paper towel will also remove as much of the stain as possible.
  • Rub baby wipes over the site of the stain if any remains on the baby’s or mother’s skin. The alcohol in the baby wipes is often efficient in getting rid of Gentian violet stains. Rinse the skin thoroughly after. 

What is Gentian violet?

Gentian violet is a bluish-violet dye that has been derived from coal tar. Take note that coal tar has been used as a common form of treatment during the early 20th century for thrush and other types of skin, mouth, and vaginal infections. 

Today, there are better substitutes available but Gentian violet might be used in cases where the conventional measures are not available or inappropriate. A good example is eliminating bacteria that developed resistance to antibiotics. 

The main uses of Gentian violet are linked to its antimicrobial activity. It can kill various fungi, bacteria, viruses, and even parasitic worms upon contact. Sadly, Gentian violet can also cause staining, irritation, and swelling, especially after continued use. 

Will Gentian violet permanently stain skin?

There are various methods that you can try to get rid of the Gentian Violet stains on the skin. Luckily, by using these removal methods, they can remove the Gentian violet stains on the skin over time. 

Just make sure that you carefully follow the removal process to effectively ensure the removal of the stains. 

How do you remove Gentian violet stains from your mouth?

Although the Gentian violet stains inside the mouth cannot be completely removed, any stains on the mouth or lip can be prevented.

You can dab on Vaseline or lanolin cream on the area around the mouth of the baby before applying Gentian violet. This will prevent it from being absorbed into the skin. 

As an alternative, your baby will have minimal staining by rubbing some olive oil into the cheeks and areas around the mouth of the baby.  

Will Gentian violet stain teeth?

Gentian violet can be quite messy. It can stain the skin, teeth, clothes, and almost anything that it comes in contact with. If it is applied to open wounds, it can tattoo the skin temporarily. 

It is a blue-violet dye that was used to treat skin conditions in the 19th century. It made a comeback in the 21st century as an affordable and easy-to-use alternative for thrush, but it has its drawbacks based on studies conducted.

Final thoughts

The deep bluish-purple stain left behind by Gentian violet can be undesirable to look at, especially once it stains the skin. With the methods described on how to remove Gentian violet stains, you can readily remove the stains effectively.

teammichael

Michael René, consultant, is the leading stain removal expert in Denmark. Read about him and the rest of the team here

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