Condy's Crystals

The use of a weak solution of Condy's crystals as an antiseptic wash or bath for eczema, vulvovaginitis, vaginal thrush and recurrent urine infection in adults and children is neglected. This safe, simple and effective treatment was used in pre-antibiotic days as a vaginal douche in obstetrics following the birth of the baby.


It would appear failure to appreciate a few simple practical points has led to the lack of popularity of this treatment.


Condy's crystals (potassium permanganate - KMn04) is an oxidising agent and oxidises any organic matter with consequent brown/black

discolouration of the skin, nails, bath, flannel, towelling, clothing and benchtops! This renders it particularly unpopular; but these problems can be overcome. My recommendation is to use the clean end of a dead match; dip the clean end of the match into the crystals and lift a small quantity of crystals and then tap this into a warm bath or bucket of water. Add more small quantities until sufficient is added to give the water a pretty pink colour. If too much is added, the water goes black and this causes rapid browning of the skin after immersion. No soap should be used and the individual should simply immerse in the bath for a few minutes. After

bathing, the skin is patted dry, not rubbed, and whatever medication has been recommended should be applied.


An alternative to the bath is to make a solution of Condy's crystals in a plastic bucket and swab with this while standing in the shower alcove after showering.


It appears that there are many other uses for Condy's! My patients have told me that Condy's crystals have been used to control mould in fish tanks and in drinking water in fowl houses, to preserve dahlia bulbs after lifting, as a handwash by travellers on excursions in countries where the water is unsafe and has even been used to purify water for drinking by the army, but fell out of favour because of the black staining of the teeth! Unfortunately, I have not found any advice on the amount to be added to either the fish tank or the chook's drinking water. If you have information on this or on other uses of condy's, please send them to me.


Incidentally, it should also be emphasised that vulvo-vaginitis in any woman should raise the question of diabetes mellitus. Needless to say, Condy's crystals solution should never be swallowed as it is an oxidising and corrosive solution. Young children should not be left unattended to play in a Condy's bath as drinking the solution is dangerous.

Condy's crystals leave dirty marks on the bath which will come off with "Gumtion" household cleaner.

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