What Is DMSO?


Quick Answer

DMSO is dimethyl sulfoxide, a liquid applied to the skin to help medicines penetrate the skin and become absorbed, according to WebMD. DSMO is both a dietary supplement and a prescription medication. It can affect water, proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the body.

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Full Answer

Dimethyl sulfoxide originates from Germany, according to Healthline. It was discovered in the late 19th century as a by-product of the process used to make paper. DMSO is used as a topical medication to speed the healing process of burns, wounds and muscle injuries, according to WebMD. It can also be used to treat headache, inflammation, osteoarthritis, bunions and glaucoma. In addition to being used topically, DMSO can also be taken orally or injected intravenously.

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