Carbol-Fuchsin Solution (Topical)

Carbol-Fuchsin Solution is a topical cream that is used to treat post-operative phenol nail procedures, as well as various other skin conditions.


Carbol-Fuchsin Solution is also used as an antiseptic drying agent for skin conditions that produce too much moisture.

The topical solution is available without a prescription, and can usually be obtained from most online and high street pharmacies. Your doctor may also recommend this solution for other types of skin disease.

After the surgical removal of a nail (such as a toenail or a fingernail), which may have become ingrown, the affected area may develop certain irritations as the skin adapts to being without a nail or growing a new nail. This can result in discomfort for the patients, including an itchiness, soreness, swelling or redness around the affected area. The area can also be prone to infections during its healing time.

A topical solution applied to the affected area can help to aid the healing process after the procedure, as well as ease discomfort for the patient. The treatment can be purchased without a prescription and therefore can be administered by the patient without supervision. The patient should instead monitor his or her condition and then, if no improvement in the condition is seen, a doctor should be contacted for a stronger prescriptive treatment.

Carbol-Fuchsin Solution is not sold or marketed under any alternative brand names in the United States; it is only available under its generic name.

Type of medication

  • Solution, to be administered to the affected area

Conditions treated

  • post-operative phenol nail procedures
  • skin conditions producing too much moisture
  • eczema

Side effects

As with any type of medication, you may experience side effects as a result of taking Carbol-Fuchsin solution. However, these effects are very rare and in most cases, patients will not experience any side effects. Some of the more common side effects, which affect a small number of people and are not normally a cause for medical concern, include the following:

  • headache
  • slow healing of the wound
  • swelling around the area of infection
  • blistering and peeling of the skin
  • tingling of the skin around the affected area
  • rashes on the skin
  • soreness or burning sensation when the solution is first applied
  • bubbling of the skin around the affected area
  • pain in the nail area
  • irritation
  • flakiness
  • dryness of the skin

If your side effects persist, you may be allergic to carbol-fuchsin, so may need to stop using the solution. Allergies are rare, but their consequences can be unpleasant if the symptoms are ignored. Your allergy may need to be treated with another medication.


The dosage of Carbol-Fuchsin Solution is usually the same for all patients. You will need to apply it to the wound or site of the affected area once to twice per day.

First, wash your hands and the affected area thoroughly before application can start. Then, make sure both are fully dry. Empty a small amount of the solution onto a cotton applicator or swab. Do not apply the solution straight from the container, as this may cause contact with the nozzle and therefore lead to build-up of bacteria on the container. It is also important to dab the solution onto the area gently with a soft cotton applicator. This will ensure that the whole area is completely covered.

Once you have applied the solution, leave it to dry and leave it open – do not bandage or cover the area.

If consumed orally, Carbol-Fuchsin Solution is a poison. It must only be applied to the skin and nail area and must never be swallowed, or inserted into the body via the eyes, nose or any other region. You should also only use this product on small areas of skin and nail; do not use it to cover large areas of the body. You should also not use the solution to treat other conditions such as burns, animal bites, larger wounds, punctures or general allergies. It is only intended for conditions such as eczema, moisture-producing skin disorders or as a healing agent after nail surgery.

Major drug interactions

There are currently no major drug interactions that have been found to take place with this topical solution. Therefore, the cream is mostly a safe option for treating a variety of skin conditions. However, this does not mean that there are no drug interactions that exist; you should always look out for side effects that you think are particularly unusual or persistent, and contact your pharmacist or doctor for advice if you are worried.



There is the risk of suffering an allergic reaction when using this method to treat a skin condition. Therefore, you should always tell your doctor if you have had any reactions to any similar creams and solutions before. As with many patients that suffer from skin conditions, there are certain types of ingredients that can actually end up aggravating your condition. If you notice side effects that are particularly consistent with allergies or adverse reactions, you should stop using this medication and seek an alternative.

Children and infants

If you are using this medicine to treat a child with a skin condition such as eczema, you should not use it more than once per day. Although the medication is not considered any more harmful to children as to adults, you should still exercise some caution when administering any medicine to children.

Geriatric patients

There is currently no information as to the effectiveness of this medication in elderly patients compared with younger patients. This medication is likely to be sufficient in treating skin conditions in older people; however, there is a small risk that it may be less effective in geriatric patients.


You should always keep this medication in the tube with which it was supplied, and keep it well out of the reach and sight of children. This product is harmful if consumed orally and, if you suspect a child or an animal may have consumed this via the mouth, you should seek urgent medical attention. In the United States, there are tens of thousands of cases of children being admitted to emergency rooms because they have consumed medication that was not intended for them.

Keep your carbol-fuchsin solution in a dry place (so not in your bathroom) as water penetration may affect its ability to treat your condition. You should always keep the solution away from direct light and heat sources (do not store next to radiators) and ideally at room temperature (20 to 25 degrees centigrade).

When applying the solution, you should take extra care not to touch the skin with the nozzle of the tube. This can lead to bacteria and germ build-up and can cause the spread of infections.

When you have finished using your carbol-fuchsin solution, you should dispose of the remaining medication. Never attempt to flush it away down the toilet or sink, unless you are advised to do so. The best way to get rid of your old medication is through a dedicated take-back scheme for medicines. These are arranged by the FDA, and are a safe and convenient way for you to clear out your old medicine cupboards, without any risk of the medicine getting into the wrong hands.


Carbol-Fuchsin Solution is a safe medication that so far has no reports of any serious warnings or major drug interactions. It can be used by people of all ages to help treat the nail area after surgery, helping the site to heal and grow new nail. The solution is easy to apply at home and does not require any medical supervision or particular advice other than what is listed on the usage instructions.

Patients with skin conditions should take care of their hygiene when using this product. As with any topical medications, it is not advised that the solution is applied directly from the bottle; patients should always apply with a clean cotton swab or applicator. After a minor operation, there will be certain care instructions that patients must follow to avoid contracting an infection in the affected area; therefore, hygiene and self-care advice will usually be issued to the patient along with the recommendation of Carbol-Fuchsin Solution.

Overall, Carbol-Fuchsin Solution is a safe and effective treatment for milder skin conditions, and is therefore often the treatment of choice in the first instance of a complaint. However, if the solution is not effective, the patient may require a strong course of treatment. Throughout the treatment, the patient should be particularly aware of the progress the Carbol-Fuchsin Solution is having on the affected area, as if the condition reaches a more serious stage, Carbol-Fuchsin Solution may not be sufficient to aid in healing.

Last Reviewed:
December 24, 2017
Last Updated:
April 04, 2018