Potassium Permanganate, KmnO4, is a potassium salt which takes the form of a dark purple or black crystal powder. It is used in a number of industrial applications, as well as therapeutically to treat skin infections, superficial wounds, abscesses, skin ulcers and fungal infections, such as ringworm or athlete's foot). When used medically, potassium permanganate is always prepared as a weak solution in water, which imparts a deep magenta colour to the water. Solutions of different strengths are recommended depending on the type of infection being treated.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Potassium permanganate crystals
- Measuring cup with metric markings
Calculate the amount of KmnO4 need to make a 10,000:1 solution of water to KmnO4, based on how much water you want to use. Potassium permanganate commonly comes in the form of 400mg tablets, in which case you would mix each tablet 4 litres of water (for a 10000:1 volume ratio).
Stir the KmnO4 into hot water until it dissolves completely.
Bathe the affected area(s) in the solution twice daily.
Treating Eczema or Blistered Skin Infections
Calculate a 1,000:1 solution of water to KmnO4, or 1000 mg/litre (about 2 1/2 tablets per litre).
Dissolve the correct amount of KmnO4 in the desired volume of hot water, and soak strips of clean cotton in the solution.
Place the strips on the affected areas and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
Treating Skin Abscesses and Ulcers
Calculate a 100:1 solution of water to KmnO4 (or a 1% solution). This would 10 grams (10,000 mg) of KmnO4 per litre of water.
Dissolve the correct amount KmnO4 in the desired volume of hot water.
Soak the affected area (the feet, for example) in the solution until the water cools.
Treating Athlete's Foot or Other Fungal Infections
Tips and warnings
- Potassium permanganate crystals are caustic, so if the dry powder comes into contact with moist skin, it may cause burns. If your skin is irritated by the solution you're using during treatment, stop using the solution and bathe the affected area in cool water. Keep the solution and dry crystals away from your eyes and mouth, and do not ingest it under any circumstances.
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