Also indexed as: Dimethyl Sulfoxide
DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) is a colorless, slightly oily liquid that is primarily used as an
Where is it found?
DMSO is derived from trees as a manufacturing by-product from the processing of paper.
Metabolites (breakdown products) of DMSO, such as the sulfide and sulfone forms, are naturally
present in the human body. However, the role of these in the body is not clear.
DMSO has been used in
connection with the following conditions (refer to the individual
health concern for complete information):
Who is likely to be deficient?
DMSO is not an essential nutrient and it is not needed in the functions of a healthy body;
therefore, deficiencies do not exist.
How much is usually taken?
DMSO is not indicated for healthy people. Those who do use this substance should consult a
doctor familiar with its use. Some physicians do not recommend the use of DMSO due to concerns
about safety and questions about efficacy. The potential for contamination exists in some DMSO
products designed for industrial uses. DMSO used topically is rapidly absorbed through intact
skin. Therefore, the area of skin (and the hands applying DMSO) must be clean, because
anything on the skin will also be absorbed along with the DMSO.
Are there any side effects or interactions?
DMSO frequently causes a garlic-like body
odor and taste in the mouth. Other reported side effects include stomach upset, sensitivity to light, visual disturbances, and
headache. Skin irritation can develop at the site where DMSO is applied topically. Only highly
purified, properly diluted DMSO should be used and the skin site and applying hand should be
thoroughly cleaned before application, because the solvent properties of DMSO allow
contaminants to be absorbed through the skin and transported into the bloodstream. Improperly
diluted DMSO can also burn the skin. Check with a healthcare professional for appropriate
At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions