Gentian Violet


Topical antiseptic as first aid to help prevent infection in minor cuts, scrapes and burns


In aqueous solutions Gentian violet (GV) dissociates into positive (GV+)and negative ions (Cl-) that penetrate through the wall and membrane of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial cells. The GV+ interacts with negatively charged components of bacterial cells including the lipopolysaccharide (on the cell wall), the peptidoglycan and DNA. A similar cell penetration and DNA binding process is thought to take place for fungal cells as well. Because Gentian violet is a mutagen and mitotic poison, cell growth is consequently inhibited. A photodynamic action of gentian violet, apparently mediated by a free-radical mechanism, has recently been described in bacteria and in the protozoan T. cruzi. Evidence also suggests that gentian violet dissipates the bacterial (and mitochondrial) membrane potential by inducing permeability. This is followed by respiratory inhibition. This anti-mitochondrial activity might explain gentian violet's efficacy towards both bacteria and yeast with relatively mild effects on mammalian cells.

Dosage & Administration

Clean the affected area and apply a small amount of this product on the area 1 to 3 times daily. May be covered with a sterile bandage.


There are no known drug interactions and none well documented.


Do not apply to an ulcerative lesion as this may cause tattoing of the skin.

Side Effects

Redness, irritation, swelling or pain persists or increases of if infection occurs.

Pregnancy & Lactation

Pregnancy Category- Not Classified. FDA has not yet classified the drug into a specified pregnancy category.

Precautions & Warnings

Stop use if the condition persists or gets worse. Do not use longer than 1 week.

Therapeutic Class

Crystal violet/ Gentian violet preparations