Gentian Violet

What is Gentian Violet

Gentian violet is a topical violet triphenylmethane dye indicated for skin antisepsis to prevent skin infection in minor cuts, scrapes, or burns.

Guidelines suggest gentian violet as an alternative to fluconazole for the treatment of initial episodes of oropharyngeal candidiasis in HIV-infected adults and adolescents.

Gentian violet has antifungal and antibacterial properties.

It is fungicidal against Candida species and is highly effective against gram-positive bacteria; it is less effective against gram-negative bacteria.

Gentian violet will stain clothing and skin.

Application of gentian violet to ulcerative lesions can result in tattooing of the skin and should be avoided.


  1. burns
  2. Candida sp.
  3. Escherichia coli
  4. Klebsiella sp.
  5. oropharyngeal candidiasis (thrush)
  6. Proteus sp.
  7. Pseudomonas sp.
  8. skin abrasion
  9. skin and skin structure infections
  10. skin antisepsis
  11. Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  12. Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA)
  13. Streptococcus sp.

This drug may also have activity against the following microorganismsCandida sp.Escherichia coliKlebsiella sp.Proteus sp.Pseudomonas sp.Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA)Streptococcus sp.

NOTE: Some organisms may not have been adequately studied during clinical trials; therefore, exclusion from this list does not necessarily negate the drug’s activity against the organism.

For skin antisepsis to help protect against skin and skin structure infections in minor cuts, skin abrasion, or burns

Side Effects

  • skin discoloration
  • skin irritation

Gentian violet is a dye that will stain clothing and cause skin discoloration. Do not apply to ulcerative lesions as this may result in tattooing of the skin.

If skin irritation or sensitivity develops or increases or if the condition persists or gets worse, discontinue gentian violet use

Monitoring Parameters

  • laboratory monitoring not necessary


  • breast-feeding
  • burns
  • occlusive dressing
  • ophthalmic administration
  • pregnancy


There are no drug interactions associated with Gentian Violet products.