What Are the Dangers of Dmso Gel?

Updated November 21, 2016

DMSO comes in many forms, including gel, liquid, roll-on and mixed with other ingredients such as aloe. Many DMSO products are not labelled as approved for humans and may have impurities. Rimso-50 is an FDA-approved form of DMSO.


DMSO, dimethyl sulfoxide, is a byproduct from making paper. It has been used as a paint thinner since the 1950s.


In 1961, Dr. Stanley W. Jacob, head of the Oregon Health Sciences University organ transplant program, discovered DMSO had medicinal properties. Due to some initial concerns, FDA blocked it from being approved for humans. In 1978, FDA approved it for interstitial cystitis. Many doctors prescribe DMSO for other uses--it is legal if it is FDA-approved for even one use. Many European countries prescribe DMSO as an approved drug.


DMSO has been used to treat closed head injuries with elevated intracranial pressure, pain, arthritis, inflammation and even learning disabilities.

Normal Reactions

DMSO is absorbed through the skin. It is normal to taste garlic after skin contact with DMSO gel or liquid. You might also have garlic body odour.


DMSO gel can cause allergic skin reactions, nausea, headache, vision problems, dry skin, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation and breathing problems. Because DMSO absorbs through the skin and can pass the brain-blood barrier, it can carry contaminants on your skin or from the gel into your bloodstream and to your brain.


Consult your doctor before using DMSO. Do not use if you are pregnant, breast-feeding, have liver problems, diabetes or kidney or eye problems. Buy only DMSO gel labelled for human use. Make sure hands and skin are clean before using, and do not contaminate the gel.

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About the Author

Daniel Cobalt lives in Georgia and has been writing online for over five years. He has a technical certificate in printing from the Philadelphia Printing School. His areas of expertise include fitness, home schooling, parenting, personal relationships, small business ownership and pet topics including breeding, training and responsible ownership.