When DMSO was firs synthesized in 1866 by Alexander Zaytsev, a Russian scientist of the time, it was not even really the target of the experiment, merely a byproduct. Since it was discovered it has been used for things such as a solvent, a human medicine as well as in veterinary medicine and even as DNA inhibitor, however most people are concerned with topical uses for this chemical in medicine.
Unlike other uses for the chemical, medicinal uses have only been around for the last forty-seven years. There are also many problems that are often overlooked that can be caused by using this chemical as a medicine, which it was never designed for in the first place. Some of these can be irritation of the area in which it was applied, headache, nausea and other minor effects. However, it is mainly used as a delivery system for other drugs such as anti-fungal and antibiotic creams and can also be used to deliver pain medications. Unfortunately, because DMSO is a solvent and is easily absorbed through the skin, anything that it dissolves can also be transferred and absorbed by the body.
Other uses in medicine include embryonic research, stem cell research and DNA research. In almost all cases when stem cells are used for an autologous bone marrow transplant, the DSMO is infused with the hematopoietic stem cells. In these situations DSMO is considered more of a preservative and less of a medicine and is used to keep the cells of cryogenically frozen cells from shutting down. However, the long term effects of this cannot yet be studied in large scale, making it nearly impossible to know if it’s the best approach.