basf logo bluePVP-Iodine

Skin and mucous membrane antisepsis as well as

surgical and hand disinfection


PVP-Iodine is an antiseptic that offers a broad spectrum of coverage, demonstrating antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal activity. Found on the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines, PVP-Iodine’s potent efficacy is balanced with its established safety profile in a wide range of ages spanning from pediatric to geriatric patients.In-vitro studies of PVP-Iodine-based topical formulations including skin cleansers, topical scrubs, and gargle/mouthwashes have indicated that PVP-Iodine products reduce viral load of certain coronaviruses such as MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV-1, and SARS-CoV-2.

properties basf pvp iodine

PVP-Iodine is known for its wide range of uses:

  • Skin and mucous membrace antisepsis
  • Surgical and hygienic hand disinfection
  • Treatment of burns, decubitus, varicose ulcers, dermatomycosis, pyoderma, acne and vaginitis
  • PVP-Iodine is used in topical formulations such as solutions, gels, creams, ovulas and others



BASF Iodine flaskPVP-Iodine has been investigated for virucidal activity

  • PVP-I activity specifically against strains of Coronavirus (MERS, SARS and SARS-CoV-2) has been tested in vitro in recent studies
  • PVP-I based 7% gargle mouth wash formula showed in vitro rapid inactivation2 of MERS CoV and SARS CoV in 15s exposure
  • PVP-I based 4% skin cleanser formula showed >99.99% inactivation of MERS CoV in 15s exposure
  • The mode of action is related to the active I form, e.g. oxidizing vital pathogen structures and disrupting cellular membranes
  • Several commercial PVP-I-based products were tested under European guidelines5 (EN 14476, EN 1499) with proven virucidal efficacy
  • Certain publications consider that the use of MVA and MVN test models provide data that can be used for decision-making during public health crisis

PVP-I-based skin cleanser and mouth wash products may provide viral decontamination on skin and oral cavity, potentially limiting transmission of coronavirus infection, such as MERS, SARS and SARS-CoV-2 during outbreaks

Infographic - PVP IodineInfographic PVP-iodine

graph about pvp iodine
Relationship between the free iodine concentration and the concentration of available iodine in aqueous solution.

Antimicrobial Efficacy of PVP-Iodine


The antimicrobial efficacy of PVP-Iodine is dependent on two major factors:

  • Available iodine = iodine that can be titrated with sodium thiosulphate
  • Free iodine = non-complexed, free iodine that can be determined in a dialysis test or an electrochemical model


Free iodine content is inversely proportional to the concentration of PVP-Iodine or available iodine. Tests on micro-organisms have shown that the rate of microbicidal action is proportional to the free iodine content.

foam pvp iodine


  • Suitable for large surface applications
  • Easy to apply
  • Fast spreading
  • Non-leaking
  • Clean application – prevents body, cloths and furniture from contamination


cream pvp iodineCream:

  • Improved sensory feeling compared to PVP-iodine ointments
  • Better spreading compared to PVP-iodine ointments




  • Hydrophilic and free of mineral oil
  • Higher viscosity for improved richness and care feeling





  • Provides occlusive barrier
  • Simple, water-free formulation
  • Suitable mainly for small skin surface areas
  • Very precise and local application (“spot on”)
  • Dry and clean application

basf pvp iodine sprayable thermo reversible poloxamer gelsSprayable thermo-reversible poloxamer gels:

  • Sprayable gel using thermo-reversible gellification upon contact with skin
  • Local and precise application
  • No leaking or easy wash-off




basf pvp iodine hydrophilic poloxamer gelsHydrophilic poloxamer gels:

  • Thermo-reversible gelling agent builds viscosity upon contact with skin
  • Cool, refreshing feeling
  • Easily spread
  • Targeted application to small or large surface areas



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