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July 1966

Mucosal Irritation Following Use of Gentian Violet

Author Affiliations

From the Children's Memorial Hospital and the Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago.

Am J Dis Child. 1966;112(1):40-42. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1966.02090100076007

THE PURPOSE OF this study is to report mucosal irritation in the newborn following prolonged use of gentian violet in the treatment of thrush. In addition, the irritative lesions secondary to application of gentian violet were reproduced experimentally.

The use of 1% aqueous solution of gentian violet has been considered an accepted and safe treatment for oral thrush since its use was first reported in 1925 by Faber and Dickey.1 Standard pediatric and pharmacology textbooks fail to warn that prolonged topical application of gentian violet may cause local irritation. Gentian violet medication stains both the thrush lesions and the normal mucosa. This discoloration makes it difficult to distinguish the candidial infection and the superimposed irritative lesions that are secondary to the prolonged use of gentian violet.

Eastman,2 in 1956, commented that gentian violet is an efficacious method for therapy for vaginal candidiasis. He reported, however, that local reactions

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