Iodine Painting for Strep Throat: A Step-by-Step Guide

| Modified on Dec 24, 2023

Strep throat, a prevalent bacterial infection caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, affects the throat and tonsils, leading to symptoms like sore throat, difficulty swallowing, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. While antibiotics are primary, iodine painting is an effective supplementary method to alleviate symptoms.

Understanding the Benefits of Iodine Painting for Strep Throat

Iodine painting involves applying a diluted iodine solution externally on the throat. This method utilizes the antiseptic qualities of iodine to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation, relieving strep throat discomfort. It's crucial to use iodine painting as an adjunct to, not a replacement for, antibiotic therapy.

Step-by-Step Guide to Iodine Painting

  1. Selecting Iodine Solution: Povidone-iodine (Betadine) is available in liquid or swab form at pharmacies. Ensure it's not expired.
  2. Preparing the Solution: Dilute povidone-iodine as per package instructions, usually one part iodine to two or three parts water.
  3. Area Preparation: Clean the external throat area with mild soap and water, then dry it.
  4. Application: Use a cotton swab or sterile applicator to apply the diluted solution externally on the throat, covering swollen areas without touching the mouth's interior.
  5. Drying: Allow the solution to air dry for at least 30 minutes before eating or drinking.
  6. Frequency: Follow healthcare advice on how often to apply, typically two to three times daily.

Safety Measures and Recommendations

  • Professional Consultation: Always consult a healthcare provider before starting any supplementary treatment.
  • External Use Only: Do not ingest or gargle with iodine.
  • Allergy Check: Avoid iodine if allergic, pregnant, or have thyroid issues.
  • Antibiotic Adherence: Iodine painting complements but does not replace antibiotics.


Iodine painting is a supportive treatment for strep throat, aiding in symptom relief and recovery. Read how Earth Clinic readers rate this remedy and share your experiences with us for more insights!

Continue reading below to learn how Earth Clinic readers rate iodine painting for strep throat, and let us know if this remedy helped you!

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Apple Cider Vinegar for Strep Throat
Harness the Power of Cayenne Pepper for Strep Throat Relief
Natural Remedies for Strep Throat Relief

2 User Reviews

Posted by D (Small Town, Ia, Usa) on 07/29/2012

Nope. Painting the throat with iodine has not ever helped my daughter who repeatedly gets strep throats. We tried it for awhile and soon enough had to go to a Doctor. Although I tried it with multiple other remedies at the same time, I would not waste valuable time on this remedy.

Iodine Painting
Posted by Frank (Palm Beach FL)

I have treated a number of sore and strep throats and loss of voice; painting iodine on the outside of the throat clears all within 24 hours. Iodine absorbs into the skin in about 6 hours. Also works for ear problems and swollen glands.