Potassium permanganate treatment

Updated April 17, 2017

Potassium permanganate is safe to use as a reagent, antiseptic, and a disinfectant as directed in proper concentration. Potassium permanganate is reactive, explosive with some solvents and flammable with others. Used correctly potassium permanganate is safe to use on green leafy vegetables and on live fish. It can be used to isolate DNA and chromosomes and to kill fungi, algae, and parasites. It can be used to detoxify drinking water.

Types of Use

Potassium permanganate is a reagent used to promptly identify medical conditions facilitating immediate treatment to critically ill patients. Potassium permanganate is an antiseptic used to treat dermatological conditions and a disinfectant used to remove metals and bacteria from drinking water removing metals and bacteria. Potassium permanganate kills algae, removes parasites from fish, and heals wounds on fish. Potassium permanganate may be used to disinfect vegetables, but other disinfectants are more effective.


Potassium permanganate is an astringent antiseptic used to treat dermatological conditions. The dermatologist dissolves 400 mg tablets in four litres of water for a 0.01% solution of potassium permanganate, which he uses on the surface of the skin.

Potassium permanganate may be used to disinfect raw green vegetables and is especially effective against Fasciola gigantica. Ingesting raw vegetables with F. gigantica cysts or eggs on the leaves causes severe infection.

Potassium permanganate as an abortificient to abort foetuses can produce lesions or be fatal. From 1935 to 1954, 37 vaginal burns and three fatalities resulted from using potassium permanganate in a douche. Some attempted abortion as late as the sixth month.


The permanganate ion is a strong oxidant, and a biocide at 4 mg of potassium permanganate per litre of water in fisheries. It kills algae, kills and removes parasites on fish, prevents disease, heals wounds on fish, and detoxifies water removing magnesium and other metals. Potassium permanganate is nontoxic to fish when used correctly.

Potassium permanganate is used in drinking water to remove iron and magnesium. Large quantities of magnesium are found in faeces. Potassium creates acid as it oxidises iron and magnesium. Potassium permanganate oxidises quickly and kills bacteria, fungi, viruses, and algae.


The reactive quality of potassium permanganate makes it a rapid indicator for the E. coli bacteria, the polio virus, and magnesium. Culturing E. coli bacteria requires 24 to 48 hours, but the almost immediate reaction to potassium permanganate allows the doctor to diagnose and treat an E. coli infection in less than an hour.

Potassium permanganate can identify the polio virus or at a higher temperature, deactivate the polio virus through oxidation.

Potassium permanganate can be used to reduce blood, tissue, and urine samples to DNA and chromosomes.

Potassium permanganate can be used as an indicator in the blood, urine, and tissue samples to identify barbiturates and other toxins.


The same reactive quality of potassium permanganate that allows rapid identification of pathogens makes it explosive or flammable in contact with other substances. Potassium permanganate reacts violently with hydrogen peroxide.

Potassium permanganate is fatal if swallowed. Ingesting small quantities causes abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

Potassium permanganate can cause respiratory problems, sore throat, and shortness of breath when inhaled. The skin may turn red and hurt like a severe sunburn.

Potassium permanganate can cause blurred vision and burn the eyes, leaving them swollen and red.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Professional Counselor