Uses for DMSO

Uses For DMSO

Here are some of the uses for DMSO, according to the sources listed below:

Check with your doctor first!

A 50 to 100 percent solution, applied as quickly as possible after the burn, can ease pain and diminish scarring.

Dimethyl sulfoxide relieves acute bursitis 80 to 90 percent of the time. Even in chronic bursitis with calcium deposits, dimethyl sulfoxide brings good results in weeks to months, and the calcium deposits eventually fade away. DMSO research: A study (John and Laudahn, 1967) involving 293 patients with acute bursitis showed complete relief in 136 patients, partial relief in 121, and 36 with no change. In the same study, of 782 patients with chronic bursitis, 345 enjoyed complete relief, 321 showed partial remission, and 116 saw no change in three months. The protocol was five milliliters of 90 percent solution to the affected and surrounding area two to four times daily.

People using DMSO even up to 24 hours after the frostbite showed total recovery.

Frozen shoulder
A 70 percent solution of dimethyl sulfoxide can relieve pain and increase mobility. Apply for up to a month.

Gouty Arthritis
This disease, which affects mostly adult males, is caused by a nutritional and metabolic disorder. DMSO research: In a study (John and Laudahn, 1967) of 19 patients, 16 enjoyed total elimination of symptoms and three had partial remission. In another study (Blumenthal and Fuchs, 1967) of five patients, two had excellent results, two had good results and one saw no change. Dosage is usually 5 milliliters of 90 percent solution applied topically to the painful area and the surrounding area two to four times daily until relief of symptoms occurs.

Apply a 70 percent solution to the hemorrhoid for quick relief of pain and swelling.

Strains, sprains, bruising, bone fractures, whiplash, athletic injuries etc: DMSO produces really impressive results with these types of injuries with its anti-inflammatory capabilities and its ability to relieve pain and increase circulation. The sooner the treatment after the injury, the better the result. There is usually pain relief in 20 minutes or less, and pain and swelling often go away almost completely within a few hours of application. Topical application of a 90 percent solution two to four times daily is the usual protocol. “I’ve seen swollen ankles shrink in size in less than an hour,” says Robert Jay Rowen, M.D., who practices in San Jose, California.

Interstitial cystitis
In the study that led to FDA approval, 64 percent of the men and 54 percent of the women obtained relief of symptoms.

Muscle spasms, including nighttime muscle cramps
Dimethyl sulfoxide helps remove toxins and waste material and improves circulation in the muscles to help relieve muscle spasms.

The pain of the this nerve inflammation is relieved from 50 to 95 percent of the time.

DMSO can relieve joint pain, increase range of motion and increase grip strength. Many studies have been conducted, both in the U.S. and in other countries, on the effects of dimethyl sulfoxide on arthritis. All found it to relieve pain and inflammation.

DMSO research: In the largest study, in Germany, over 1641 patients were given two to five milliliters of dimethyl sulfoxide topically two to four times daily for the first week, then twice daily for the remainder of two to six months, until remission of symptoms occurred. Eight hundred fifty one patients enjoyed full remission, 553 had partial relief, and 237 reported no benefit.

In another study (Steinberg 1967) with 152 patients, a 90 percent solution was applied topically four times a day to the joints and surrounding areas. Patients reported considerable pain relief just minutes after application, lasting four to six hours. Almost 85 percent reported significant results.

In a Russian test, scientists concluded that “the use of DMSO for inflammatory and degenerative joint disease is well founded. Treatment with DMSO in different combinations is tolerated well by patients and adverse side effects are seldom encountered.” Dimethyl sulfoxide is most effective for those who have had arthritis for a short time.

Although it relieves pain in both acute and chronic arthritis, it works best in the acute forms. Dimethyl sulfoxide works here because it is an anti-inflammatory and because it reduces autoimmune antibodies that damage or destroy tissue. It also prevents free radicals from destroying lubricating fluid in the joints.

DMSO works best of all in osteoarthritis. Patients of all ages get good results, no matter how long or how severe the condition. Larger joints–hip, knee, shoulder–may require longer treatment. Dimethyl sulfoxide injections (rather than application to the skin) may be indicated in really severe conditions.

Peyronies disease and DMSO
Topical application to the penis removes pain about 50 percent of the time.

Phantom limb pain
Apply topically.

Relieves some of the pain and superficial clotting when applied to the skin.

Post-operative pain
Topical treatment.

About 75 percent of those treated may get relief from associated pain.

Pruritis ani
Up to 90 percent of those affected find relief from rectal itching and pain from the application of 70 percent dimethyl sulfoxide to the anal area.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
DMSO produces best results with early treatment in rheumatoid arthritis. It is not a cure for RA, but it gives relief in the majority of cases. In severe cases, a series of intravenous infusions of dimethyl sulfoxide may be given. Check with your doctor. Studies in Germany and Japan showed significant results in over half of patients–from complete remission of symptoms to less joint pain, better grip strength and better range of motion–using topical applications of 90 percent solution for six months in the German study and four weeks in the Japanese study. Sometimes it works for RA, sometimes it doesn’t, but considering the disabling effects of that disease, it may be worth a try.

Sciatic nerve pain
Apply topically.

Two studies, one at the Cleveland Clinic and one in Russia, found that DMSO brings the best results of any kind of therapy for this condition. More than 50 percent of those treated showed major improvement.

Apply to the burned area.

The pain of tennis elbow, golf elbow, tendonitis of the foot/ankle are eased when dimethyl sulfoxide is applied regularly. Sometimes it takes several months. A study (Steinberg, 1967) of 50 patients showed significant results in 94 percent of patients. A 90 percent solution was applied to the area every four hours at the beginning, then decreased for the remainder of the treatment period. Patients usually found relief within ten to fifteen minutes following the treatment.

Varicose veins
Those treated with a 70 to 90 percent solution applied to the skin experienced prompt relief from pain, cramping and swelling.

DMSO Side Effects

You might think that there would be dangers of DMSO, but it is remarkably safe. Dimethyl sulfoxide does have two potential side effects:

1. Your breath and body may smell–some say like garlic; some say like clams; I say like creamed corn. This can be a significant annoyance. It goes away, of course, when you stop using it.

2. You may have an allergic reaction at the point where you apply it. If you have an allergic reaction, such as swelling, redness or inflammation, see your doctor right away. This is extremely rare, with about the same occurrence as reactions to other common substances, like aspirin, for example.

Dimethyl sulfoxide has been widely used for over 30 years, and a number of human studies have been done. At the time of the writing of this report, there are no studies indicating that it is toxic during short-term use with the recommended amounts.

After two human studies done on human volunteers in prison, Dr. Richard Brobyn stated: “A very extensive study of DMSO was conducted at three to 30 times the usual treatment dosage in humans for three months. DMSO appears to be a very safe drug for human administration, and, in particular, the lens changes that occur in certain mammalian species do not occur in man under this very high, prolonged treatment regimen. I am very glad to be able to present these data at this time, so that we can permanently dispel the myth that DMSO is in any way a toxic or dangerous drug.”

SEE YOUR DOCTOR! The following information is taken from the medical sources listed below: If you have a condition for which you are considering DMSO, see your doctor first. If you have that much pain, your doctor should take a look at it, and even if you don’t have pain, you should check with your doctor first. Plus, dimethyl sulfoxide may affect how your body uses other drugs you are taking, so be sure to let your doctor know what medications you are on.

Don’t use it if you are pregnant.
If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, or are breast feeding, don’t use it. Although the research is scanty, there may be a risk to the fetus or infant. If you’re on birth control pills and not trying to get pregnant, this caution does not apply. But, if studies show that small amounts of caffeine or alcohol may cause birth defects, even low-risk dimethyl sulfoxide may also have an effect. Why take a chance?

Interactions with other drugs
DMSO may increase the effects of drinking alcohol and may increase the effects of other drugs, including those that make you less than normally alert. Check with your doctor and be careful driving or doing other things that require full alertness.

Other cautions

1. While it can help a wound heal faster and decrease scar formation, it should not be used on wounds that are infected.

2. Don’t use it for poison ivy or poison oak or for insect bites, since it may spread the substance that is causing your discomfort.

3. Don’t store it in proximity with toxic substances. Stay away from toxic substances during and after application of DMSO (for 3 hours afterward, to be absolutely safe). And if you accidentally spill a toxic substance on yourself after using DMSO, don’t panic; just wash it off right away with soap and water.

4. Take a good multivitamin/mineral supplement to neutralize the free radicals released by DMSO in the healing process. It should contain vitamins A, C, E, B1, B6, zinc and selenium.

Always notify your physician immediately should you have any symptoms of allergic reaction. These would include shortness of breath or trouble breathing, swelling of the face, itching, rash or hives.


“Pain Free Forever,” The Revolution in Pain Relief Doctors Don’t Tell You About,” a report about DMSO by Dr. David Williams.

DMSO: Nature’s Healer, by Dr. Morton Walker. You can find this very informative 260-page book on dimethyl sulfoxide facts and uses at