We Value Your Privacy

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.

Update Consent
Loading ...

Where can I find gentian violet?

Updated November 21, 2016

Gentian violet is a non-prescription antifungal treatment, commonly used to treat yeast infections, particularly thrush in breastfeeding mothers and babies. It is a topical solution.

Loading ...


Gentian violet works best as a 1% solution, as 2% solutions may cause irritation in babies' mouths. It is a deep purple shade and stains both clothing and skin, although it will fade off skin within a couple days, and may be removed from clothing with rubbing alcohol.


Follow a physician's recommendations on how often to use the solution, as it may range from one to three times a day for about 3 days. Use a cotton swab to apply the solution to the nipples and when nursing, the medication will be transferred to baby.

Symptoms of Thrush

Typically a yeast or thrush infection in a nursing pair will result in painful, itchy or red nipples and breasts, and a white coating may appear inside baby's mouth. It may occur after antibiotic use, and the severity of itching, pain and redness varies greatly and may be seen in one or both breasts.

Where to Find Gentian Violet

Most pharmacies carry gentian violet, but it's best to call ahead. Ask if the solution is 1 or 2%, and request it be diluted to 1% if only 2% is offered. Often gentian violet will be behind the counter, but it doesn't require a prescription. Health food stores may also carry it.


Expect baby's lips and mouth area to be stained purple, but to minimise this apply some petroleum jelly to the lips and around the mouth. Don't stop using the gentian violet just because symptoms disappear; apply it as directed for length of time ordered by a physician to make sure the fungus is eradicated.

Loading ...

About the Author

Katlyn Joy has been a freelance writer since 1982. She graduated from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville with a master's degree in writing. While in school she served as graduate assistant editor of "Drumvoices Revue" magazine.

Loading ...