DMSO for Herpes: Is this Controversial Treatment Worth Looking At?

Top secret documents and telephoneDMSO – the potential cure for herpes that’s been swept under the rug?

Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of DMSO.

The government and pharmaceutical companies have had a lot to do with that.

But, if you’ve tried everything there is to treat your herpes simplex virus, then you might want to pay attention. We’re giving you the scoop on the controversial product that qualifies as a natural remedy for herpes. Here’s how!

DMSO & Herpes

What is DMSO?

DMSO is the abbreviated term for dimethyl sulfoxide. Wait a minute! Is that what’s used as a solvent in paint stripping products and for manufacturing microelectronic devices? It sure is! It was first synthesized as a by-product from dimethyl sulfide by oxidation about 100 years prior to its first uses in medicine.

Despite its industrial uses, it’s a naturally-occurring compound found in many foods. Its medicinal use came in the early ’60s for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s used as a mild oxidant, it’s weakly acidic, and it interacts with electrophiles. Because of these factors, it has a unique role to play when it comes to dealing with the intimidating scope of herpes.

How Does DMSO Treat Herpes?

DMSO creamDMSO has potent antioxidant activity that actually helps to repair damage from free radicals. But, it also increases white blood cell production and strengthens the immune system.

Many sufferers of HSV are also immunocompromised, and this can cause recurrent outbreaks, severe symptoms, susceptibility to various sicknesses, and even death in a newborn.

It even works as a pain reliever, reduces inflammation, and promotes healing.

Sounds like everything you need for a herpes treatment, right?

DMSO is unique in the fact that it can truly penetrate deep within the layers of the skin without harming tissue and cells. This makes it an excellent transport vehicle for other medicinal constituents. This should get your brain ticking into thinking you can use DMSO to help fight herpes and to also enhance the effects of other natural products such as essential oils to beat the infection.

DMSO penetrates into the outer lipid layer (membranes) of the infected host cell without causing DNA damage. Viruses can’t live in oxygenated environments, and because DMSO can pass through the cell membrane and contains oxygen, it immediately prohibits viral replication and kills it from within. DMSO also interrupts many viral processes at many different sites in the tissue and cells. It’s interrupting benefits are inhibition, prevention, blocking, and reduction roles in viral activity functions.

The result is fast relief. If caught early on, outbreaks will be short-lived. In this study, pain was as short as 1.8 days and lesion crusts formed and fell off in 3.3 days. More studies also show significantly shortened healing times for skin to return to normal.

The Controversy of DMSO

The FDA has stalwart opposition to clinical trials involving DMSO since the death of a lady in Ireland who had an allergic reaction to multiple drugs including DMSO. The cause of death was never determined but DMSO took the blame.

There was a similar occurrence of cataract-like changes in the eyes of animals who had been treated with DMSO, but in the late ’60s, toxicology studies of DMSO with use in humans proved no such consequence.

Over 1,500 DMSO studies were submitted to the FDA with over 120,000 subjects with results of a wide variety of medical conditions from 1964 to 1983. All but one of them were rejected.

The FDA also says that the distinct garlic-like odor that occurs in the breath makes it impossible for double-blind studies. Pharmaceutical companies also don’t want to fund studies because they can’t put an exclusive patent right on a “natural treatment” to get it approved and recoup their costs. It would also be detrimental to them to fund a cheaper product that distracts the buyer from some of their other more expensive treatments already available.

Despite popular demand and enthusiasm, the FDA has only regulated it for use for interstitial cystitis for medical treatment.

Types of DMSO

Intravenous Method

Many doctors are at risk of losing their medical license when prescribing or even recommending DMSO to their patients. So, this option is pretty much out of the question.

Oral Supplements

It can come in industrial strength which might have other harmful substances not fit for consumption. If you are able to get a prescription for medical-grade DMSO, it will be of higher purity.

Topical Applications

Topical applications seem to be the safest and most commonly-used method when it comes to using DMSO for herpes. Because of its skin and cell-penetrating benefits, it’s often included in many types of topical applications. Some include a gel version, roll-on pain relief products, and even the pure liquid itself.

DMSO Side Effects

Side-Effects of Herpes MedicationIt’s always advised that you speak to your physician about using DMSO for herpes treatments. While they may not provide you with an official recommendation, they can still provide you with guidelines and information on any possible interactions with any medications you’re on.

Garlic Breath

This is completely normal as DMSO breaks down in the body. However, your nose and others around you might not appreciate the garlic breath.


Headaches have been reported as a side effect of very high IV doses. With topical application, the doses won’t even be close to IV dosages to cause headaches.


It’s best to skin patch first to ensure you won’t experience sensitivities before applying it to a large area. Irritations can appear as rashes, itchiness, and redness. For internal use, you may experience nausea and/or diarrhea.


If you’re already on anti-coagulant medications, you must speak with your doctor before using DMSO. It can enhance the effects of your medications.

Chemical Carrier

DMSO is a vehicle transporter for many pharmaceuticals. However, the concern of bacteria hitching a ride is unwarranted. It can’t survive in the DMSO concentrations that you may consider using. However, it’s still wise to ensure your hands and target area is clean before using it.


DMSO has a lot of potential as an alternative medicine for herpes, however there are other options out there with a lot less controversy surrounding them like Lemon Balm, Olive Leaf Extract, Oregano Oil & Manuka Honey.

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Further Reading: Life After Herpes Diagnosis: Coping With Herpes

Disclaimer: This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a professional healthcare provider before commencing treatment.

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