Posted by Bill (San Fernando, Luzon, Philippines) on 07/06/2010
Hi Everyone... I have said in past comments that I wasn't too happy about the iodine painting test as a valid test for body iodine levels.
Recently, I went a bit overboard to perhaps push my own iodine levels deliberately into excess. This I did by using a 2% USP iodine tincture and painting an area under both my fore-arms which were each the size and area of a dollar bill.
I painted both my fore-arms this way four times. All these patches of iodine(except the 4th one) disappeared in under one hour. The fourth patch of iodine disappeared in about an hour and a half. I also took the equivalent of about 15 mgs of lugols iodine orally at the outset. There were no symptoms of excess iodism either in the evening, the next day or on any subsequent day.
From current thinking, the iodine painting alone should have driven me to excess iodine symptoms but it didn't and I was not happy about this, so I have searched widely on the internet for answers.
In answer to the many enquiries about the iodine skin painting test, here is an article by Dr David Derry, a person who is very pro-iodine and who has written books on the subject of iodine. Here he presents actual evidence on the usefulness of iodine painting:
"The "test" of putting iodine on the skin to watch how fast it disappears is not an indicator of anything. The iodine disappearance rate is unrelated to thyroid disease or even iodine content of the body.(1-2) Meticulous research by Nyiri and Jannitti in 1932 showed clearly when iodine is applied to the skin in almost any form, 50% evaporates into the air within 2 hours and between 75 and 80 percent evaporates into the air within 24 hours. (1) A total of 88 percent evaporates within 3 days and it is at this point that the evaporation stops. The remaining 12 percent that is absorbed into the skin has several fates. Only 1-4% of the total iodine applied to the skin is absorbed into the blood stream within the first few hours. The rest of the iodine within the skin (8-11%) is slowly released from the skin into the blood stream.
However Nyiri and Jannitti's findings that... "the percentage of iodine penetration through the skin is the same, irrespective of whether the cells have a high or low vitality, or are dead, and irrespective of the direction of penetration" have important implications for iodine functions in the body, skin, pregnancy and fetus and also for the therapeutic use of topical and oral iodine. Iodine would be the only compound of significance during early pregnancy which can pass rapidly through all tissues of the fetus without the aid of any blood vessel or lymphatic transport. It could be that not only does iodine control natural cell death (apoptosis) (5) in the fetus but may also influences stem cell development.
Nyiri and Jannetti also mentioned iodine applied on the skin can be used to shrink swelling of the thyroid gland (goiters). So even small amounts of iodine absorbed through the skin can have good effects on body organs. From my own clinical experience, repeated application of iodine (Lugol's) to the skin appears to cause regeneration of the skin from the bottom up (Quiescent, stable or stem cell) (3) eventually sloughing the old version of the skin off like a snake molting. If there was a pre-cancerous lesion on the old skin, it is replaced with new skin minus the lesion. There does not seem to be any skin lesions which are not helped or cured by this procedure. In some cases I found clinically obvious low thyroid conditions also needed to be treated to be more effective. Minor lacerations and healing of surgical wounds respond well. If skin regeneration is from the bottom, then there is little or no scar formation.
My parents' generation tended to put tincture of iodine onto a fresh wound to prevent infection. This turns out to be helpful but not the best way to use it. Besides it stung badly when applied. It is much more effective (and doesn't hurt) to apply iodine repeatedly after a scab has been formed. The iodine put onto the scab helps to organize total repair of the tissue. It is implied a similar approach could be taken to burns of all depths but at the same time the physiology of burns suggest there is an acute lack of thyroid hormone. (3)
All pre-malignant lesions and many other oddities of the skin appear to respond to this regeneration process triggered by topical iodine. I have mentioned previously a patient with a biopsy-proven breast cancer lesion (she refused surgery because of previous cancer treatment) that was strongly fixed to the skin responding well to topical iodine and ended up being a dimple on the breast three year later. (6)
It is my belief a water solution of iodine (like Lugol's) is an important therapeutic agent for skin. Because of its effectiveness and the results, perhaps many skin diseases are related to local tissue areas of relative iodine deficiency. Perhaps the most graphic lesions are the "keloid" (worm) incision scars formed after surgical procedures. If the iodine intake and tissue levels are adequate, such as in Japan, keloid formation doesn't happen (7). In addition, iodine's ability to trigger natural cell death (apoptosis) (5) makes it effective against all pre-cancerous skin lesions and likely many cancerous lesions. The local site is replaced with normal skin. However, even lesser doses of topical iodine seem to reverse the ominous appearance of skin lesions. Because my older brother died of metastatic melanoma, my chances of getting a malignant melanoma are increased by 400 times. (8-9) Having grown up in Venezuela near the equator my sun exposure at a young age was far above normal. So all suspicious lesions I notice are returned to normal with topical Lugol's."
Extract from About.com
Just to clarify some thoughts here -- iodine painting IS useful in my opinion when painted over the skin on the neck of the thyroid. This is because the thyroid only needs MICROgrams of iodine/iodide. However, in my opinion, since research evidence from Dr Abraham's Iodine Project has confirmed that the rest of the body's needs amount to at least 12.5 mgs as a maintenance dose -- an amount that is 100 times more than the RDA of 0.125 mgms, then foot-painting is not a good method to achieve the whole body's need for iodine.
In answer to all those asking how you can check your own iodine levels -- the best way seems to be by temperature using a Basal Thermometer. These are more accurate than electronic thermometers. When you first wake in the morning, put this thermometer in an armpit and hold it there with your arm and stay in bed for about 10 minutes. Then check your temperature -- if it is between 97.8 and 98.2 degrees, you probably don't need any extra iodine, because iodine is an essential part of the mechanism for body temperature regulation. If the temperature is lower or higher than this temperature zone, then you might need more iodine or less iodine respectively.