I've noticed that there aren't many (or any) personal experience posts about gentian violet treatments for yeast infections, so I thought I'd post mine. Enjoy!
P.S. The comments include some pictures that are not work safe, so be careful!
After one dose of Diflucan, two 3-day Monistat treatments, one 7-day Monistat treatment, yogurt, and two menstrual cycles I realized I have a recurring YI on my hands (go figure it's my first one, and yes I did get a culture done when I first experienced symptoms to make sure that's what it was). I decided through the advice of some of my friends (jocelina and frolicnaked) to get some gentian violet and try it out. I was prepared to go on a hunt to find it, and at the first Walgreens I went to the pharmacist gave me a strange look saying he hadn't seen or heard of anyone using it in years, "probably because the FDA says it just simply isn't effective." Me - "I've heard otherwise from first hand accounts, but thanks anyways." I asked him where he thought I could find it and he wasn't helpful there either. When I got home I re-read the Yeast Infection Vulvapedia and the section on gentian violet. Since I saw that it was on the Walgreen's website, I decided to call a couple others, and lo and behold the second one had it! I was excited. So I went there and bought the 1 ounce bottle (only two bucks! much cheaper than Monistat), vinyl gloves ($5 for 50), and cotton balls.
Day One: First Application
I use a Mooncup (UK) so I don't own tampons anymore, but I swiped one of my roommate's. I measured out 2 tablespoons of the gentian violet (with the gloves on) into a styrofoam bowl and felt like it was a little too much. I think you could get by with one tablespoon or less, because the whole tampon was soaked in it, as well as two cotton balls, and I still have a lot of excess left over. I put the end of the tampon in the GV and left it there for maybe half an hour. When I came back, it was pretty well soaked. When you're soaking a tampon with a cardboard applicator you really should watch it carefully (and next time I'll only be using tampons with plastic applicators) because the cardboard was so wet that I couldn't get the tampon in. I also made the mistake of thinking that if I did everything standing up (with a lighted mirror and one leg up on the bed) that I would make less of a mess.
Anyone have any tips of getting GV out of the carpet in a rented house? Yeaaah. The tampon was so soaked that when I tried to insert it a ton of it squeezed out on to the floor. I'm super bummed because my landlord is such a dick and I don't think there's any way to get this shit out, it is dye and it does recommend that you not apply it to "ulcerative lesions" since it can tattoo the skin! Anyways, the tampon applicator thing wasn't working out so I peeled the cardboard off of the tampon and tried shoving it in. Again, glad I wore gloves because that stuff was everywhere! All over my ass, my thighs, and needless to say my vulva, which I guess isn't that bad of a thing. It took a bit of shoving and me going "how/why did I ever use these things?!" but I got it in. My vulva was pretty well covered in GV, but I figured it'd be good to add a little more with a cotton ball, so I did. Then I put on an old pair of white cotton underwear (I recommend black because you won't be able to tell that it's stained, but I don't own any black cotton pairs) and a pad. So far it's a lot more relieving than Monistat. No itching, and no burning. There was a little bit of a tingle for the first 10 minutes, but it wasn't an ouch tingle, more of a refreshing tingle (if that makes any sense). A lot of women say their YI is gone after one treatment of this stuff, but I'll probably go for two or three since this seems to be such a resistant YI.
Day Two: Six Hours After Application
Whoa that stuff is purple! My pad and underwear have some bright purple spots/streaks on it (it's a really pretty color though) as well as the bottom of my foot (I'm guessing from the carpet). I got some GV on the toilet seat and stained my fingers a little bit. Next time I remove the tampon I'll be sure to wear gloves, and it's probably a good idea to avoid touching any labium when you're wiping. Otherwise your hands will get purple, my friends. I wore a pad all day because my discharge is purple and so is my vulva and I figured it would be less messy. I took a shower and got some of the GV off, but not much. My skin is a little stained and my fingers a little bit too from washing. I made the mistake (when will I learn?!) of using a light blue towel to dry off. Dark towels are your friend.
Day Two: Second Application
The beauty of GV for me is that I can do the tampon technique any time of the day, and that I don't have to wait until bedtime to do it or get some relief. So after I got home from work I decided to do it again. I still used the one leg up on the bed/lighted mirror technique, but I put a towel on the floor first. I still had enough excess from last night's application to soak up another tampon (so you really do only need one tablespoon, maybe even less). I begrudgingly went out after work and bought a box of plastic applicator tampons (big bummer...the only kinds that come in 3 or 4 packs are cardboard) and those worked much much better. I made sure to watch the tampon soak up the GV (which only took maybe 5 minutes, 30 minutes was definitely overkill last time), put on the gloves, and tried inserting.
I'm not going to lie, it was still a little difficult to push the tampon out of the applicator. It's a little harder to get a grip on the applicator with gloves on, and some GV did leak out again, but not so much that it dripped onto the floor. This time it just went on my vulva, and was very minimal. Not a problem, and much better than last night. I used a cotton ball to apply some more to my whole vulva, and put on a new pad. Six hours later, I put on some gloves and removed it. Much better. I didn't get any more on the toilet seat or my hands. Still leaking purple stuff though, and I'm careful to wipe with caution when going to the bathroom for the rest of the day.
Got up and went to work (with a pad on) and started to get itchy, so I figured "screw it, my underwear's already got purple streaks, might as well go all out" and took the pad off. The itching stopped, so I assume I was just chafing a little bit (it is about 20 F degrees here). My white underwear has a purple crotch, but that's ok. Still careful to wipe with caution. I was going to do an application but got tired and lazy. Still got some purple residue/discharge going on.
After my shower I had some extreme itching. I'm hoping it's just dry/irritated skin, and not a sign that my YI is coming back, but even if my YI is coming back I don't attribute it to the fault of the GV. I have some heavy duty extreme yeast going on, and I firmly believe that normally one treatment of the GV would have gotten rid of any regular yeast. When I got home from work I did another treatment, and yes, it was still difficult to push the applicator down, but that's fine. Just be patient when you do it and don't start squeezing it in frustration. If you do a little at a time it'll come out eventually.
It took about four days for my discharge to get back to it's natural color, but I'm sure your mileage will vary depending on how much gentian violet you've used and how much discharge you're having. It's interesting to see discharge go from bright purple to lavender though. I think my YI is gone! I'm really hoping. My discharge is back to normal and I'm not experiencing any discomfort. :crosses fingers:
-For my carpet I found this website with gentian violet removal instructions, and it worked!!! You have to go to the "spot solver" link and then choose "gentian violet" from the drop-down menu. The trick is to act quickly, and I started working on the stain right after applying the GV to myself. I used dishwashing soap and a towel (that wasn't necessarily old), because I was desperate to get rid of the stain and didn't care about a towel when my security deposit was at stake. I put the same towel on the floor when I did later applications, in case any dripped out.
-For the toilet seat I used Soft Scrub Gel with Bleach. It worked, but you probably should apply it to the whole seat. After I just targeted the purple spots, there were white spots, so I bleached the whole thing. Be sure to rinse really well, you don't want that stuff getting on your skin.
-I don't have any tips for clothes, since I don't care about my underwear that much, but if anyone does, let me know and I'll add it here!
-Usually works with only one treatment
-Doesn't cause extreme burning or itching during treatment like other methods (e.g. Monistat) do
-Can do the treatment any time, not just at night
-Fairly easy to apply
-Can be hard to find
-Stains clothes, carpeting, towels, and skin, so you have to be careful to protect all surfaces, wear dark underwear, and use gloves
-Difficult to see color and consistency of discharge
After this experience, I will use gentian violet the next time I have a yeast infection. The application process gets better with time, and it's so cheap. I like the fact that I can do the treatment at any time and that it doesn't itch and burn like creams do. I also have gloves and tampons that will go to waste otherwise. I hope this has been useful!