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Iodine Patch Test

How To Perform The Iodine Patch Test?

Last modified: July 13, 2023

Reading Time: 5 minutes

How to Perform the Iodine Patch Test: Apply a small amount of iodine solution on your inner forearm and let it dry. Check the area after 24 hours. If the patch is still visible, it indicates sufficient iodine levels.

3 Simple steps to perform an iodine patch test at home

The iodine patch test supposedly determines iodine deficiency through the rate of iodine absorption in the skin. However, it doesn’t measure the accurate iodine level as it is not a clinically performed method.

How To Perform The Iodine Patch Test

Nevertheless, you can still perform this test to get inner satisfaction. Here are a few easy steps to perform this test.

Buy a Tincture of Iodine

Get a 20% tincture of iodine which is orange in color. Refrain from buying the transparent iodine solution.

Apply it on the skin

Then paint the iodine solution on the skin. 3 into 3 inches of iodine square will be sufficient. Make it on your abdomen, inner thigh, or inner forearm. Let it dry before touching it because it can produce stains you won’t like.

Look for color fading.

After the application of iodine, your job starts. First, monitor the patch for 24 hours and observe the color changes.

It is believed that your body’s iodine levels are normal if the color changes don’t appear after 24 hours. However, you have a mild iodine deficiency if the patch disappears before 24 hours. If lightning or disappearance happens before 18 hours, it indicates severe to moderate iodine deficiency.

Can you rely entirely on the Iodine patch test?

It is not a reliable method to determine iodine deficiency. . An iodine patch may disappear or fade due to high temperature and pressure. Therefore, you are likely to experience false results as the chances of error with this test are significantly high than other reliable tests.

How To Perform The Iodine Patch Test

You can start with this test. However, moving toward the iodine loading test to evaluate iodine levels appropriately is recommended.

What if you have an iodine deficiency?

The symptoms of iodine deficiency include neck swelling, fatigue, weight gain, and difficulty remembering. If you are facing any of these signs and have found that iodine is insufficient in your body, then there is nothing to worry about.

Luckily, there are numerous ways to prevent it. To overcome this, you can add iodine supplements, iodized salt, and intake iodine-rich foods [3]. Furthermore, it is advised to reach out to the healthcare professional to start the proper treatment of iodine deficiency.


What is the purpose of the iodine patch test?

The iodine patch test is used to assess iodine deficiency in the body. It helps determine if there is sufficient iodine absorption and utilization by checking the visibility of the patch after 24 hours.

How do I prepare the iodine solution for the patch test?

To prepare the iodine solution, you can use over-the-counter povidone-iodine solution (commonly known as Betadine). Ensure the solution is not expired and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.

Can anyone perform the iodine patch test?

While the iodine patch test is generally safe, it’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before attempting it. They can guide you based on your individual health status and provide proper interpretation of the test results.


the iodine patch test serves as a simple and non-invasive method to assess iodine deficiency in the body. By applying a small amount of iodine solution and observing the visibility of the patch after 24 hours, one can gain insights into their iodine absorption and utilization. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before attempting the test, as they can provide guidance tailored to your specific needs. Remember, maintaining optimal iodine levels is crucial for overall health, and the iodine patch test can be a valuable tool in monitoring and addressing any deficiencies.


1.      “Iodine Deficiency.” American Thyroid Association, 2016, Accessed 15 Oct. 2022.

2.      Forkel, Susann, et al. “Improving Povidone‐Iodine and Iodine Preparations for Patch Testing.” Contact Dermatitis, vol. 84, no. 5, 15 Oct. 2022, pp. 332–337, 10.1111/cod.13760.

3.      Eastman CJ, Zimmermann MB. The Iodine Deficiency Disorders [Internet]., Inc.; 2018 [cited 2022 Nov 7]. Available from:


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