As always, check with your medical professional first!
Applying DMSO Clean your hands and the area to be treated – You should always clean the area to which you plan to apply it, just in case there is some harmful substance on your skin with a molecule small enough to go through with this solvent. Note that only those substances that could penetrate by themselves if left on the skin long enough can be transported through (more quickly) by dimethyl sulfoxide. Bacteria and viruses are too large and thus are not able to pass through, and bacteria cannot grow in dimethyl sulfoxide of 25 percent strength or more.
Test for skin irritation – Dimethyl sulfoxide can irritate the skin, so before the first application, test a small amount on a small area on your arm. I have sensitive skin and the 90 percent solution burns a bit, but it’s no big deal. The burning goes away in a few minutes. Apply it to a small area on your arm to test your sensitivity. If you are super sensitive, then it may not be for you. Apply it directly to your skin with your hands. If you prefer not to use your hands, you can use a cotton ball or a paint brush. If you are using liquid dimethyl sulfoxide. Dabbing the DMSO onto your skin may reduce irritation. However, rubbing it in may help it to work quicker and make the effects last longer. You might want to experiment with the amount you use to see how it affects your pain. By experimenting, you’ll find the minimum amount that eases the pain. Allow it to dry for about 20 minutes, then you can wipe off any excess. If you are using cream or gel, be sure it has soaked in and that your skin is dry before you put on your clothes. Remember, dimethyl sulfoxide can dissolve other substances. So far, the only fabric I’ve had a problem with is with acetate, which will quickly melt into a hard glob.
Most of the DMSO will penetrate within 15 to 20 minutes and the pores of the skin may be open for another half hour or so. Just to be safe, it is recommended that you avoid contact with all toxic substances for three hours after application.
There is no need to worry unduly about DMSO’s ability to open the pores and penetrate the skin. Other products on the market also go through the skin, such a patches for nicotine and sea sickness medication, and creams/lotions that deliver such things as MSM or capsacin for arthritis through the skin. With any of these products, you should avoid exposure to toxic substances after you have applied the cream or just after you have removed the patch.
In applying the dimethyl sulfoxide, apply it to an area larger than where the pain is. If your knee is painful, it is recommended that you apply it to six inches above and below your knee, all around the circumference of your knee. If your hand hurts, apply it all the way to the middle of your forearm, and so on.
How often should I use it? As always, check with your medical professional first! Frequency of use depends on whether your problem is acute (something that happens, gets fixed, and does not come back, like a sprained ankle) or whether it is chronic (ongoing, long-term pain, as with arthritis).
Acute conditions: For acute conditions, my sources recommend that you apply it every two hours for six to eight hours immediately after the injury occurs. Following that, for the next five days or more, apply DMSO every four to six hours. Most of the benefit will come in the first three weeks.
Chronic conditions: For chronic conditions, DMSO takes longer to take effect. Although you may notice some easing of pain right away, it may take six to eight weeks, or even six months to a year in some cases, for the maximum benefit to be achieved. It depends on the person and the condition. One application a day is recommended.