DMSO Uses – pain relief & anti-inflammatory

DMSO has many uses. Sports teams and Olympic athletes use it as a pain killer and to reduce swelling. Arthritis sufferers use it to reduce joint pain and improve their quality of life. It is also being used to prevent herpes outbreaks, treat scar tissue and other skin conditions. Read the many comments on this post to see how people are using this substance for pain relief.

But what is DMSO and why is it so controversial?

DMSO is dimethyl sulfoxide, a by-product in converting trees to paper. It has industrial uses as an antifreeze and as a solvent for a wide range of chemicals. There are also a wide range of medical uses. It has a remarkable capacity to penetrate skin and tissue and enter the bloodstream. It can also carry substances with it into the bloodstream, and while it has a very low index of toxicity, any toxins present from negligent manufacturing processes can be potentially dangerous.

The Side Effects of DMSO

Compared to many other drugs, DMSO is very safe with few side effects. It can cause skin irritation and people who use it will have a garlicky smell for a brief spell after applying it to the skin. You can even taste it a little.

The FDA has only approved it for the treatment of a single rare condition, not because of known side effects, but rather, because there is little evidence of its effectiveness for treating other conditions.

The medical community and the FDA are very concerned by the lack of rigorous research confirming its benefits and ensuring its safe use. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that medical research will get financed because it is not a substance that pharmaceutical companies can patent and earn money on. Further to this, it is difficult to carry out double blind studies because the garlic taste and smell make it impossible to eliminate the placebo effect.

Nonetheless, it is widely used in the former Soviet Union and other countries around the world, and a trial conducted by the Japanese Rheumatism Association concluded that DMSO relieved joint pain and increased range of joint motion and grip strength.

Three Grades of DMSO

There are three grades available: industrial grade (may contain toxins and is not for human use for humans or animals); veterinary grade (widely used for race horses); and medical grade which is classed as a prescription drug.

Because of the lack of FDA approval in the USA, the DMSO that is sold in health food stores and on the internet can only be sold as a solvent. There is no regulation to control how it is manufactured, and for this reason, it is thought by some people to be dangerous to use.

Who makes it?

There is only one manufacturer in the USA, Gaylord, a company based in Louisiana. Gaylord makes DMSO in various grades and they are thought to be pure and safe, however, it remains unapproved by the FDA and, therefore, can only be sold as a solvent to humans.

How to Use

DMSO is available as a cream, gel and liquid in various strengths. The most common strength for most uses is 70% (70/30). It can be applied to the skin to relieve joint pain and reduce swelling. It can be applied to burns to give immediate pain relief.

Anything on the surface of the skin will be carried into the bloodstream, so always take heed to apply to very clean skin. It is best to use your bare hands (not gloves) and wash them well before and after applying.

Some people like to combine DMSO with herbs and essences. Mixing it with any substance should be carried out with great caution because it will carry these substances with it into the bloodstream.

Using DMSO to prevent herpes outbreaks

At the first sign of an outbreak (tingling sensation) apply to the nape of the neck (for sores around the mouth) or at the base of the spine (for genital herpes). Also apply it to the sores themselves. Repeat twice a day for a maximum of three consecutive days. This should prevent a full blown herpes outbreak. If you already have a full-blown outbreak, apply as above to speed up the healing process and relive pain.

For information on the relationship between iron and herpes outbreaks Click Here.

Click here to buy DMSO at a discount!

It is important to note that DMSO is great for treating symptoms, but is not a cure for the underlying cause of a condition. For example, it will kill pain of tendinitis, but it will not cure it. It will prevent herpes outbreaks and reduce the swelling and pain of arthritis, but it does not kill the herpes virus or cure arthritis.

There are many uses for DMSO and many people use it for effective drug free pain relief. However, until the FDA approves its wider use, it will continue to be sold as a solvent to humans. Race horses are luckier – veterinary grade DMSO uses are common practice.

Ref: Dr Jacobs

If you have relevant information to add, or have a question about DMSO, please leave a comment.

Please do not try to leave a comment complimenting this post or this website, or promoting a product you want to sell. It will not be published!

123 responses to “DMSO Uses – pain relief & anti-inflammatory

  1. So far I have had 3 shots in my hip and I still have pain. Doctors tell me that I have a slight tear in a tendon. My daughter says DMSO is not for human use. Everybody else who has used it says it will solve my problem. Your opinion please.

  2. DMSO may help with the pain. It does not help to heal a torn tendon. Time and staying off your leg will. DMSO is not approved by the FDA as a pain killer, which is slightly different than your daughter’s view that it is not for human use. It is only approved by the FDA for humans for a rare bladder disease called interstitial cystitis.
    Personally, for any temporary condition that takes time to heal I would go for an over the counter pain killer and only use it when I really had to get up and get around. Pain is what tells us that something is wrong. If you kill the pain and don’t give your injury time to heal, you can cause more problems. What is your doctor advising?

  3. If DMSO has a healing effect on joints, skin conditions, etc… throughout the body, would it be good to soak the soles of your feet (larger pores, best place for direct absorption) in DMSO and let the bloodstream carry it all over? Is there any reason a person should not do this nightly? Thanks!

  4. I would like to hear what success uses have had with DMSO for arthritis in the feet. I have tried everything, orthotics, rocker soles, celebrex and tylanol. I have had it for 7 yrs. and it is getting worse, sometimes difficult to put weight on my foot at all.

  5. Gilbert Dennison

    I have a great deal of pain in the thumb (basal) joint in my right hand, also, there is a prominent bulge in the area. Obviously, arthritis is the culprit. Does anyone have similar experiences and recommendations for relief of this problem?

  6. I have been suffering for the past 8 with ‘Burning Tongue Syndrome’ or ‘Burning Mouth Syndrome’ also known as
    I’ve exausted the Western doctors and dentists and online suggestions to no avail and now trying Chinese acupuncture and Herbal compounds and hope for some relief. This painful syndrome mostly affects post-menopausal women (compared to men) 7 to 1. Has anyone ever treated this medical mystery with DMSO directly applied to the tongue?

  7. Please can you help I am battling with a sort of rash on my dog I am told that it could be ringworm or hot spot rash and nothing I rub on takes it away can I use DMSO to try get rid of the rash as he is really suffering as all the treatments I have got from the vet don’t get rid of totally

  8. Hi Theresa,
    We have a dog that was having all sorts of problems with skin and digestion. We now feed her grain-free dog food and she has no problems at all. It’s a little more expensive, but we are saving loads on vet bills.
    Hope this helps!

  9. I don’t think that DMSO is the answer here. Underlying causes of burning tongue syndrome are well documented on the mayo clinic’s website
    As we reach different stages in our life our bodies and needs change. Our diet and lifestyle need to change. Work with your health practitioners -western and/or eastern – to find a solution. Wishing you great health!

  10. Gilbert and Marty,
    DMSO is used to relieve pain caused by arthritis because it reduces the swelling. I use it on my knee, from time to time, and it works for me.

  11. Been awhile since I posted…I have a new use for MSM gel!! Late summer I was clearing out compost from one of five large black plastic bins….
    I lifted some matted leaves and was swarmed by yellow jackets I had disturbed. Fifty or more got my forearms mostly, but under my shirt and neck as well. I got in the house quick, flooded the areas, soap and water and once clean, used castor oil topically for twenty minutes, then a baking soda water rinse, followed it with a long full body shower. It comes to you real quick, that this could overtake you if the conditions were just so….thank goodness I was able to move. Itched like mad up to 3-4 days later, vitamin E controlled the itching, but no fun trying to go to work. A few weeks later, the same thing happened, I was five feet away from them, and they got me for no reason. This time, I washed the area and used MSM gel….soothed the itching immediately. MSM makes the cells more permeable, so I guess that was enough for the body to heal the problem….instead of resisting the injury, the area relaxed and the body, in it’s wisdom, went to work…didn’t even begin to have the maddening itching and accompanying whelps, this was a godsend. If you garden, keep this stuff around. Remember that it is penetrating, make sure you flood the skin, wash thoroughly with soap and rinse before applying the MSM. No pain involved, just topical application, let it seep into the skin….

  12. Wow, this is fascinating!

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  13. Make 10% solution ! try using food grade 9 parts distilled or filtered water and 1 part of the 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide for tongue burning. the 35% is harsh must use rubber gloves Keep away from kids etc. put 10% solution in glass dropper bottle for dropping in small glass for drinking. I garbled with it for my tongue burning. It foams up so spit out then repeat 5 or 6 times or until pain is gone. it also whitens teeth safely as you do this. get the book Hydrogen Peroxide Cures. the book claims it treats all types of ailments . drink on empty stomach only begin with 1 drop in small glass filtered or distilled water – no chlorine work up to 25 drops in non chlorine water on empty stomach drink wait 1 hour then can eat. I drink 30 drops in water empty stomach wait 3 minutes to oxygenate the water then drink and it cured my eye infection. can take 25 drops 3 times per day. see youtube for cures and book . I bought the book and it is fabulous.

  14. Susan Marcus

    For the burning tongue, I would use GlycoThamoline in water several times a day. Put several teaspoons in a covered jar of water. Have one at your desk, by the computer, next to your bed. Take a swig and hold it on your tongue, or if you can tolerate….saturate folded thickness’ of paper towel, hold it on tbe tongue for 5-10 minutes….Glyco is alkaline producing, it has a pleasant taste..advertised as a mouth washm but it has many other uses….An old remedy, it has stopped a gallstone attack for me…I’ve given it to people with sinus problems…lie down for several minutes with cotton rounds saturated with Glyco water applied to the bridge of tbe nose….magically reduces the swelling which is the cause of tbe pain and discomfort. OR go to the doctor who will prescribe a chain saw when you want to cut butter!! We can learn to do things incrementally by sharing ideas on wonderful boards such as this.

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  16. Hi: I have PHN: Postherpetic Neuralgia. I have itching,tingling in the skin of my lower right jaw. The nerves of my face were damaged via shingles. There is a virus in my right ear or canal which is swelled. I have had this for 2 years now with little improvement. It is also known as Ramsay Hunt Syndrome and there is a blog for that group. The nerve endings need to heal. I wonder if DMSO will help with itching, stinging of my skin in that area, and perhaps help rejuvinate the nerve endings. This is a rare disease thus no significant studies have been done as the results will not produce money for a pharmaceutical company. The disease seems most prevalent in older folks. I am 86 and otherwise in very good health. (former jogger)

  17. When mixing DMSO with another substance, what do you use to mix it with? Is metal okay?

  18. I use glass. I would avoid metals.

  19. I’m really not sure. DMSO can irritate the skin, so I’m not sure if it would help with the itching. If you find out more, I would love to know.

  20. I’ve been using DMSO since ’72 when I started working with thoroughbred race horses on the racing circuit. Even when I left the track in 1984, I always keep a fresh bottle of DMSO in the horse and buy from equine suppliers…note, it loses it’s potency/efficiency over time.

    I’ve been rubbing it on my fingers and hands for arthritis for years.

    It can relieve the pain of plantar fascia by rubbing the heel/sole with apple cider vinegar to prevent calcium buildup (the body’s natural response to protect the injury to a plantar fascia tear which creates heel spurs) and then rub in DMSO to drive the apple cider vinegar into the foot.

    Sore muscles…use your preferred lineament (I prefer Bigeloil which is an equine lineament) and rub DMSO on top of the lineament to drive it into the muscles.

    I can’t imagine a home without DMSO, apple cider vinegar and Epsom salts. With these three things you can relieve pain and cure many things. (DMSO does not cure, it only drives whatever you are using into your system.)

  21. Miranda Spence

    I have COPD.

    I did read somewhere on the computer that DMSO in a Nebuliser was very good for the treatment of COPD.

    Can you advise me further please?

    Kind regards,


  22. For you dogs rash use dettol .
    As for dmso you should put it on with a paper towel .
    Dip p towel in dmso and rub on area of pain after it’s cleaned and dried well.
    You will get a rash if the area is not dried
    And it healed my tendinitis in a week
    I Love DMSO

  23. Edwin Roberts
    Don’t rub it on your rash ,rub it about 2 or 3 inches away from rash once it absorbs in the skin it will get to the root of your problem,
    I Rubbed it on my arm for tendinitis, it heal like magic and low and behold it cleared up a large skin tag on my hip Also ??

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