When you use liquid DMSO in the skin, let it dry for over 20 to 30 minutes before wiping the rest out. The skin must be clean, dry, and unbroken for any topical use of DMSO. The face and the neck are more sensitive to DMSO and no higher concentration than 50% should be applied there. Topical concentrations of DMSO should be kept below 70% in areas where there is a reduction of circulation. When 60 to 90% DMSO is applied to the skin, warmth, redness, itching, and sometimes local hives may occur. This usually disappears within a couple of hours and using natural aloe vera, gel or cream, will help counteract or prevent this effect. When 60 to 90% DMSO is applied to the palm on the hand, the skin may wrinkle and stay that way for several days.
Chronic pain patients often have to apply DMSO for 6 weeks before a change occurs, but many report relief to a degree that had not been able to obtain from any other source. In general, the greater the chronicity of the disorder, the longer the treatment with DMSO must be employed in order to achieve palliation (Steinberg , 1967).
Common health problems for which people will apply topical DMSO at home include acute musculoskeletal injuries and inflammations. The earlier DMSO is used, the more dramatic the result. A 70% concentration of DMSO mixed with water in volumes ranging from 8 to 12 ml, applied on and around the injury in a wide area at least three times daily, will have a healing affect in 4 out of 5 people.
Arthritis, Sprains, Strains
DMSO provides rapid amelioration of pain and increased mobility and reduction of inflammation when used topically. You can see a positive response within 5 to 20 minutes and usually lasting for 4 to 6 hours. (Steinberg, 1967).
The garlic-like body odour and taste in the mouth that some experience is attributable to a specific DMSO metabolite: dimethyl sulfide (DMS), a component of natural onion and garlic flavors (McKim, Strub, 2008). This can last for one or two days and in a small number of people, especially men, the odour can be very pungent. Drinking enough water will help diffuse the smell. Other side effects – such as stomach upset, headaches, dizziness, and sedation – are very likely related to detoxification reactions prompted by the DMSO.
Only purified and properly diluted DMSO should be used. When you dilute a pure DMSO solution, always do it in distilled water. When DMSO is diluted with water, heat is released. The bottle will be warm to the touch. This is a temporary, harmless reaction. When it is applied, the skin site as well as the applying hand should be thoroughly cleaned before application. This is of utmost importance as DMSO’s properties allow contaminants to be absorbed through the skin and transported into the bloodstream.
DMSO is known to be one of the least toxic substances in biology (Parcell, 2002) so any serious side effects should come from potential contaminants or the intake of concomitant drugs that DMSO will carry into the body. Worth repeating again, DMSO and any substance dissolved in it, will penetrate the skin, the blood-brain barrier, and other parts of the body very quickly.
Remember also that DMSO increases the effects of drugs like blood thinners, steroids, heart medicines, sedatives, etc. In addition to that, acetone or acid contamination of DMSO can lead to serious medical consequences. Be aware of this problem when buying unreliable DMSO. Pure DMSO will turn solid if refrigerated.
Women are discouraged from using DMSO during pregnancy or breastfeeding, even though DMSO is used to preserve frozen human embryos. DMSO can interfere with liver function tests and give a false reading. That problem is easily solved by waiting a week after DMSO usage before taking the test.
Since DMSO causes dryness and scaling of the outer layer of the skin, skin diseases characterized by scaling (psoriasis) could be aggravated by the use of DMSO. But DMSO applied topically for only a few days has been useful in psoriasis. Prolonged use of DMSO for the treatment of psoriasis is not advised however, as it can worsen the psoriatic condition (Engel, 1967).
If you intend to use DMSO as anything other than a solvent you should take great care and learn as much as possible about the subject. If you have any doubts you should consult a medical professional.