Using DMSO Safely - Risks vs. Benefits
by N J Howell
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STRONG DMSO CAUTIONS:
Because DMSO can cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) quite easily and because it carries whatever is on the skin almost directly into the blood stream, the need for sterile application is vital. You will not see the benefits of DMSO and you may see some unwelcome results if you haphazardly apply it. I repeat, DO NOT just go out and get DMSO and start slapping it all over your body. Things will not go well. Please read everything here and also do independent research on safe application. Also, reader further about the massive difference between industrial grade DMSO and pharmaceutical grade DMSO. The first could harm you a lot; the second could be very useful.
I ordered DMSO to keep in my emergency first aid kit when I read that it was one of very few substances that could save a life where there was internal brain injury. After I read more about DMSO, I decided to try it for pain relief but was just overwhelmed by all the articles saying how careful one had to be with it. The reason for all these words of caution is that DMSO is a transporter element. It will transport whatever is on the skin at time of application, directly into the bloodstream. Because DMSO can cross the blood/brain barrier, this is especially troubling when it comes to careless use. I had to plan using it with a lot of steps to reduce risk of contamination. Here are the steps I took:
1. I did NOT use soap or hand sanitizer because of risk of residual chemicals remaining on my hands. Instead, I sanitized with a mixture of purified water and hydrogen peroxide.
2. I dedicated one glass to mixing DMSO only. I sanitized the glass with a mixture of purified water and hydrogen peroxide. After rinsing with more purified water several times, to make sure I got all the hydrogen peroxide out (remember, DMSO is a transport system; it will take anything it touches into the blood stream with it) and wiped down the inside with a sterile gauze pad. I also wiped down the outside of the glass.
3. I started very low and I recommend starting low. I poured about four ounces of purified water into my DMSO-designated glass and then added a single drop of 99.9% pure pharmaceutical grade DMSO (with a dropper I had previously sanitized) and swirled the glass to blend. If you used a untensil to stir, be sure to sanitize the utensil but I'd recommend just holding the glass and swirling the contents.
4. To take the DMSO internally, I used a glass straw (also sanitized) I drank the water/DMOS mixture and then rinsed out my mouth with purified water.
5. To apply the DMSO topically, I first used sterile gauze pads to apply but then realized that, if they weren't made with organic cotton, I could be introducing pesticide residue or other chemicals into my system with the cotton pads. After that, I ordered organic cotton pads and sterilized them myself with hydrogen peroxide and then several rinses with purified water to get all the peroxide out.
To avoid the risk of getting DMSO in my eye from my fingers, I don't apply in a way that requires my hand to come in contact with it. I will roll up a sterile gauze pad, dip the very end of it into the DMSO/water mixture and being careful to hold the dry end, gently swab it into the area. That way, I don't have to worry about inadvertantly getting it in my eyes. Alternately, you could use organic cotton swabs.
Research how to use DMSO:
As I said at the beginning, DMSO crosses the BBB. You want to be very careful not to unwittingly introduce toxic chemicals or ingredients into your blood stream. One way this could happen is if you wash your hands with something that has perfume or other toxic ingredients and you don't completely remove all trace of that soap from you skin, the DMSO may carry it into your bloodstream. A good rule of thumb is to read labels on soaps and never use anything to clean your hands or body before applying DMSO that has ingredients you would not want in your bloodstream.
I sanitize myself and any items I use with purified water and hydrogen peroxide and then several rinses afterwards with purified water. If you choose to use a cleanser, I would recommend looking for organic products that have all-organic, harmless ingredients. You may see options for DMSO mixed with aloe vera online (a very popular choice, due to the healing properties of the aloe plant). If you choose an aloe/dmso mixture, I strongly suggest finding a company that sources organic aloe.
Get the right kind of DMSO:
I would never use industrial DMSO because it almost certainly contains ingredients I would not want carried into my bloodstream. I only use PHARMACEUTICAL GRADE DMSO. I look for high degree of purity. 99.99%.
Get DMSO in correct packaging
Only buy from companies that bottle with non-leaching caps. I also strongly recommend only buying DMSO in glass containers. The first DMSO I purchased was in plastic but I did not, at the time, realize that current regulations don't require manufacturers to list their plastic container levels on non-food items. I could not be sure it was a safe plastic so I didn't use that after I did more research. I don't know that anything harmful may have leached into that plastic bottle but, after that, I order only glass containers for my DMSO and I make sure the caps on those glass containers are not metal (DMSO reacts) and that the plastic used for the caps are BPA-free and non-leaching.
Side Effects of DMSO:
There is a lot of controversial information out there about DMSO side effects. The problem with a lot of it is that there is no way to know if the DMSO was contaminated during the application of it. If someone is unaware that DMSO carries whatever is on the skin into the bloodstream and they apply over some chemical perfume or just dirty skin, they could be unknowingly carrying toxins into the system. Another issue is that people often point to studies done on animals and leave out the conclusion that human effects were different. For example, using large doses of DMSO in some animals caused eye and vision problems. The same results were not present in human subjects, at least in the study info I found online at time of this writing.
However, having said that, if a person applies undiluted pure DMSO with their hands (I don't recommend that) and then scratches their eyes they could deposit 99.9% pure DMSO into the eye. That could definitely cause pain, redness and even symptoms of a chemical burns. That's why I never touch the DMSO and I always dilute. I made the mistake of not diluting the first time and I did have eye burning. 99.9% DMSO should ALWAYS be diluted.
DMSO and other ingredients:
As I mentioned earlier, you can buy an aloe vera/dmso mixture. Some people add liquid arnica for pain relief. Some who use MMS will also use DMSO but here, it's important to mention that Jim Humble has concerns about mixing the activated MMS and DMSO in the same glass. He believes they are safe to use together but suggests mixing in separate glasses. Recently, I decided to try DMSO with GABA. Again, I started very low and I recommend starting very low. I had just a tiny dose of 100% pure GABA powder (no additives) in my sanitized glass and added a single drop of DMSO. I did feel some effect, even at this low does but naturally, it was very mild. I will gradually up the dose but if I were have negative reactions, I'd stop immediately and I recommend stopping with any mixture you might try.
Using DMSO for hair loss:
I read something online about some people using DMSO for hair loss. Quite frankly, I would not do it. Too close to the eyes and too many are just slathering on 99.9% pure DMSO without realizing the risk. Also, if you combine it with a hairloss formula, what other chemicals will the DMSO transport across the blood/brain barrier. No. I'd skip it for that purpose, especially when one popular formula can cause eye irritation all on it's own.
Health Disclaimer: DMSO is not represented as any kind of medical treatment or as replacement for any needed medications, evaluation or treatment. Check with your doctor if under a doctor's care for any known condition. Should you choose to try DMSO, start slow, practice self-monitoring and stop immediately if you have negative reactions.