Itchy Skin From Iodine Supplements

Whenever you take a new supplement, you increase your risk of an allergic reaction. If you’re currently taking iodine supplements and you develop itchy skin, you need to call your doctor because this may be a sign of an allergic reaction. Adverse reactions to iodine have been reported as leading to death from anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction that affects your entire body.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Iodine Background

Iodine is an essential mineral that the body uses to make hormones that help it grow. Most of the iodine in your body is located in your thyroid, with about 20 to 30 percent of iodine scattered throughout your body. People who don’t produce enough iodine can develop hypothyroidism. Iodine supplement are used to prevent compilations from this disorder. An estimated 1 billion people are deficient of iodine, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Most healthy adults do not need to take an iodine supplement.

Itchy Skin

Itchy skin is the result of histamine levels increasing near the surface of your skin. If you’re allergic to iodine, your body will release immunoglobulin E antibodies after you ingest the supplement. IgE antibodies trigger white blood cells to produce histamine, a bodily chemical that protects against infection. Histamine causes your blood vessels to dilate, increasing blood flow, which leads to inflammation, irritation and itchiness. Itchy skin from an allergic reaction may cause the development of hives, eczema or general itching.


Itchy skin may lead to the formation of certain allergy rashes. Allergic rashes that may develop are hives and eczema. Hives is an allergic rash that can develop anywhere on your skin in patches of welts. This rash is identified by defined borders with a flat surface on the top of the welt. The rash is extremely itchy and will spread when it’s scratched. Eczema is a hypersensitivity of the skin that may be triggered from an iodine allergy. Eczema causes raised bumps that fill with liquid to appear in various parts of your body. The bumps may burst, crust over and scar.


If you develop itchy skin along with shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing, dizziness, lightheadedness, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, bloating, cramping, nasal congestion, an increased heart rate, a drop in blood pressure and facial swelling, needs to be reported to your doctor. These may be signs of a severe allergic reaction.