What's the blue/purple stuff put on cut knees as a child?

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scrummyyummy | 16:59 Wed 17th Mar 2010 | Body & Soul
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Whenever I had a cut or grazed knee as a child, I remember having some sort of bluey purpley liquid put over the cut. I even remember having it put on my mouth ulcers! Does anyone know what this solution was and did it actually help to heal the wound quicker? I don't see kids with this over cuts these days! (or did I come from some weird family?!).


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tincture of iodine ?
I remember gentian violet that used to be put on impetigo - does anyone get impetigo any more?
I thought Iodine was yellow.
It was a reddish/brown colour when I had it put on me. I was abroad though....
Gentian violet (crystal violet, Methyl Violet 10B, hexamethyl pararosaniline chloride) is a bactericide and an antifungal agent, the primary agent used in the Gram stain test, perhaps the single most important bacterial identification test in use today, and it is also used by hospitals for the treatment of serious heat burns and other injuries to the skin and gums. Typically prepared as a weak (e.g. 1%) solution in water, it is painted on skin or gums to treat or prevent fungal infections. Gentian violet does not require a doctor's prescription (in the US), but is not easily found in drug stores.
Yep Granny grump you are is Gentian violet - purpley liquid. My mum used it for many things years ago. I dont suppose many use it these days.

Oh and and iodine is a yellowish/brown colour
I've seen the older folks use Gentian violet on thrush.
A child at the nursery where I worked two years a go had impetigo and all the staff knew what it was and the incubation period so am assuming it is still realtively common.
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Wow! Thank you, guys! I've been wondering what this is for years! I guess they don't use this any more. It did look unsightly with purple knees and worse, purple lip! Guess Bonjela has taken over for mouth ulcers now!
pleased to put you out of your misery scrummyyummy
yes it is still rife in schools - my son is a teacher and he has it !
Gentian violet on thrush, society? I bet that looks pretty!!!
Yes I remember iodine, the kids at our primary school spent half their lives with purple and yellow blotches on them. I don't think anyone had even heard of arnica in those days....!
I may be wrong through fading memory, but I'm sure that whenever I fell down and grazed my knee as a little boy in the 50s my mother would clean it up with iodine (stung like hell) before putting a sticking plaster on.
I`ll never forget as long as I live how iodine stung when I was small 70 yrs ago and slid down a steep gravel pit and grazed my arms and legs, and I was always very careful after that.
There are a few things about Granny Grump's second post that I'm afraid are no longer true about Gentian Violet. However, I can confirm that the stuff was indeed Gentian Violet. I often went around as a child with purple patches on my lips when I had aphthous ulcers!

As well as being bactericidal, Gentian Violet is a powerful antifungal and is a valuable treatment for athletes foot, although I can't remember seeing many kids around with purple feet in the sixties and seventies! Many years ago, I understand it was commonplace to dip children's heads in a Gentian VIolet solution to cure scalp ringworm - it must have caused some ribbing at school!

You can still buy Gentian VIolet in pre-packaged quantities of 5g at most independent pharmacies in the UK.
its used as antiseptic for animals

cause it doesn't sting
Gentian Violet

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