What Is DMSO Used For?

DMSO, or dimethylsulfoxide, is a prescription medicine and dietary supplement that has been approved by the FDA to address the pain of bladder inflammation. In addition, some research indicates that, when put directly on the skin, DMSO effectively treats certain disorders.

Researchers have combined DMSO and idoxuridine. When applied to the skin, the mixture reduces the swelling and pain that accompany shingles. Other studies found that a cream of 50 percent DMSO helps control the pain of complex regional pain syndrome, a chronic condition that typically affects limbs. In the case of chemotherapy drugs leaking from IVs, MDSO can prevent skin and tissue damage if placed on the skin. However, research shows that DMSO is ineffective in the treatment of scleroderma or cancer.

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.