Top 10 Benefits of Using DMSO (for humans)

DMSO, or Dimethyl Sulfoxide, is a colorless, transparent, hygroscopic fluid over a wide range of temperatures. It can be taken orally, used topically, or injected intravenously. It is known as an incredibly versatile therapy and thousands of studies have shown what incredible health-promoting properties it has. If you’re looking for a way to address chronic pain in your life, these DMSO uses in humans may just be the answer. In this blog, we’ll dive into the top 10 benefits of DMSO and how using it can help in your life.

What is DMSO used for?

young woman with red hair holding elbow in pain, joint pain

DMSO can help with a number of different issues and conditions. This includes all of the following:

  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Joint pain relief
  • Cancer side-effects (pain)
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Shingles
  • Psoriasis
  • Candida
  • Eczema
  • Tendonitis
  • Arthritis
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Hemorrhoid
  • Muscle spasms
  • And more!

Benefits of DMSO

  1. DMSO for Cancer

One 2012 study of DMSO demonstrated that it may be an important stimulator of the tumor suppressor protein HLJ1 through AP-1 activation in highly invasive lung adenocarcinoma cells. Previous studies had demonstrated that using DMSO could modulate AP-1 activity and lead to cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase. While nothing is conclusive (yet), according to this study, targeted induction of the HLJ1 represents a promising approach for cancer therapy. This means that DMSO could serve as a potential lead compound as anticancer drugs are developed in the future. 

Early research has also suggested that injecting DMSO intravenously along with sodium bicarbonate can help alleviate cancer-related pain.

  1. DMSO for Pain

DMSO is known to address a variety of types of pain. Strains and sprains are one type of pain that DMSO can address. When used topically, DMSO can eliminate the pain of these types of injuries. DMSO will pass through the skin’s oily membranes and reduce swelling and inflammation in the area.

DMSO can also be effective for pain related to bruises, burns, scars, and keloids. A concentration of 50 to 80 percent DMSO put on two to three times per day can flatten a raised scar and eliminate burns and bruising.

  1. DMSO for Arthritis

Early research has suggested that applying DMSO topically may help decrease the symptoms of both types of arthritis – osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid (RA). This is likely due to DMSO’s ability to penetrate tissues.

Doctor examines woman's arthritis pain in hand

  1. DMSO for Extravasations

Using DMSO has been shown to help with drug extravasation injury. Extravasation refers to the escape of a drug into the extravascular space (soft tissue), either by leakage from a vessel or by direct infiltration. Research suggests this is beneficial to chemotherapy patients as chemotherapy drugs can leave into surrounding tissues (extravasate), and the effects can be highly damaging to the body. For affected patients, DMSO application can significantly improve the tissue injury that occurs from extravasation.

  1. DMSO for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition that often effects one limb after an injury. It is believed to be caused by damage or malfunction to the peripheral and central nervous systems. Research suggests that applying a 50 percent DMSO cream to the skin improves pain in people with CRPS.

  1. DMSO for Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries. As a result, oxygen-rich blood flow is limited to both your organs and other parts of your body. Typical treatments involve lifestyle challenges like a healthy diet and exercise. In laboratory testing, DMSO has demonstrated its ability to delay the development of narrowing arteries induced by dietary cholesterol. It also suppresses the accumulation of cholesterol in tissues, despite severely elevated levels.

  1. DMSO for Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition causing pressure, bladder pain, and sometimes pelvic pain. The condition is part of a spectrum of diseases known as painful bladder syndrome. Unfortunately, chronic pain often makes it difficult to deal with. Fortunately, instilling DMSO – an in-office procedure in which medication is injected into the bladder through a urinary catheter – is an FDA-approved pain-relieving treatment.

  1. DMSO for Shingles

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. It is caused by varicella-zoster, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who’s had chickenpox may develop shingles, and because risk increases with age (most people are older than 50 when they get it), it is often considered the adult version of the chickenpox.

All that said, shingles is painful, and DMSO has been found to be helpful in a variety of ways. If you apply DMSO to the skin along with a drug called idoxuridine, your lesions and swelling associated with shingles may lessen. Additionally, research indicates that applying this same combination to the skin can also help to reduce pain. 

  1. DMSO for Scleroderma

Scleroderma is a chronic connective tissue disease in which the skin hardens. Because DMSO penetrates the skin, doctors initially tested the effects of DMSO on scleroderma to see what would happen. DMSO was found to have anti-inflammatory effects while continuing to increase blood supply to the skin.

  1. DMSO for High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a primary or contributing cause of death in 2017 for almost half a million people in the United States. When using DMSO intravenously, it can be used to lower abnormally high blood pressure.

Final thoughts

The benefits of DMSO – especially for pain – are enormous. DMSO is still commonly used on racehorses and other animals, but the DMSO uses in humans are plentiful and the relief it provides for conditions like joint pain, arthritis, and bladder pain are incredible.

In fact, while research is still being performed on many of the above conditions to gather more information about DMSO’s efficacy, it is already an FDA-approved product specifically for interstitial cystitis. Only time will tell what other ways using DMSO will continue to improve human health. 

You can read more information about DMSO in our blog, What Is DMSO?

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