Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) is a colorless liquid that is an organosulfur compound. It possesses the chemical forumal of (CH3)2SO. It has the unique ability of penetrating skin easily and readily and can immediately be tasted upon contact. This taste is similar to that of an oyster or garlic. DMSO is known as an important polar aprotic solvent that is far less toxic than other similar polar aprotic solvents. It is often used as a solvent in multiple chemical reactions, especially those that use salts. It is only slightly acidic and can undergo strong bases. By itself, DMSO has a low toxicity, although it is important not to mix it with other chemicals as adverse reactions can occur.
DMSO has an extremely high boiling point and will evaporate on a slow basis. It also has a higher freezing point which limits certain chemical processes. For this reason, it is often used as a safer and more effective paint stripper.
In addition, DMSO is used for medical purposes. It was first used in 1963 when it was discovered that it could penetrate the skin without damage and carry different compounds into the system. It is often used as an anti-inflammatory medicine as well as an antioxidant. It is frequently used in anti-fungal medications and can also be used in some cases in the treatment of herpes. In several studies, DMSO has been concluded to be an effective treatment in most all inflammatory disorders and provide relieve for all inflammatory conditions, even those where patients fail to respond well to conventional treatments.