DMSO – Dimethyl Sulfoxide – Peyronie’s Disease Treatment
Dimethyl sulfoxide, better known as DMSO, is a colorless and slightly oily liquid. It is a by-product of the paper manufacturing process, and is still used primarily as an industrial solvent. Stanley W. Jacob, MD first reported the medicinal benefits of DMSO in 1964. By the late 1960s it was popularly called a wonder drug because of its glowing potential as a therapeutic agent and a pharmaceutical solvent, reported to be useful for a variety of problems ranging from arthritis to mental retardation. It has been used in treatment of Peyronie’s disease (PD) for many years with mixed reports of success, as is typical of any Peyronie’s disease treatment.
DMSO in therapeutic use remains controversial, but substantial evidence indicates it has anti-inflammatory properties and alleviates pain when applied to the skin in appropriate concentrations. Most therapeutic benefits of DMSO are documented in connective tissue diseases in particular, such as scleroderma, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, and muscle injury.(1-3) The AMA is among this group of supporters of DMSO for these applications. Multiple research suggests that DMSO applied over the afflicted region may soften the abnormal connective tissue associated with disorders such as Dupuytren’s contracture of the hand, Peyronie’s disease, scleroderma and keloids.(4) Each of these four conditions is similar, in that they share a thickening and hardening of tissue, and excess collagen and fibrous tissue deposits. As you read these therapy sections, you will notice scleroderma and Dupuytren’s contracture are often mentioned with PD. This is because of the similarity of abnormal tissue hardening which occurs in each. Suffice it to mention that both of these conditions are connective tissue disorders of unknown cause, with similar track records of poor and variable treatment outcomes. This explains why research for these two conditions can be used to suggest therapy for PD.
Studies related to Peyronie’s disease and DMSO
Scherbel did a study(5) on 42 patients with scleroderma using just DMSO. The disease was considered mild in 18, moderate in 19, and severe in five cases. Several of these patients were near death from this disease, and others quiet ill. He concluded that the skin thickening and density of this condition were slowly but definitely alleviated in certain patients by application of DMSO. He found long-term therapy of scleroderma of one to two years is necessary to obtain significant cutaneous improvement. Specifically, and of great interest to men with PD, he noted “softening of skin and subcutaneous tissue” that he rated an “(e)xcellent result — improvement in all pre-existing disease manifestations”. He noted certain patients respond to DMSO therapy more readily and completely than others, while some did not improve. No serious side effects or toxicity manifestations were encountered. The side effects most frequently observed in patients undergoing treatment with DMSO were skin irritation and characteristic “garlic” breath odor. A second study(6) by Scherbel demonstrated that DMSO has the therapeutic effect of healing cutaneous ulcers in scleroderma. He concluded that DMSO is a worthwhile, supplemental, therapeutic agent providing the limitations of therapy are understood.
In Russia, Murav’ev did a double-blind DMSO study(7) of 20 women at the Institute of Rheumatology AMS USSR. He reported “convincing results of [the] positive effect of DMSO on the clinical manifestation” of scleroderma; reduced skin thickening and hardening, greater movement of affected areas, increased blood flow, and reduced edema. In summary he commented on the simplicity and easy availability of DMSO, and because of its external use the digestive system is not affected. He concluded, “DMSO is a convenient, effective, and harmless way of curing systemic scleroderma. It can be recommended for a wide use in a complex therapy of this disease.”
Another blind study(8) by Murav’ev in Russia assessed the effect of DMSO on scar formation and microcirculation in 42 patients with scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, and Raynaud’s disease (all conditions have fibrous tissue abnormalities). He showed the therapeutic benefit of DMSO is determined by its normalizing action on fibrin formation and increase of local blood circulation that is achieved by increase of capillary growth.
A 1999 plastic surgery study(9) is of interest to PD. DMSO is used in a surgical technique called tissue expansion, which is used when there is inadequate tissue to fill a surgical need. After applying DMSO in the technique process, the tissue treated is capable of being stretched beyond its usual limits. This demonstrates the ability of DMSO to be absorbed into the skin and to reduce the connective tissue contraction that normally limits stretch potential, via fibrous tissue infiltration.
Similarly, Vinnik reported(10) in 1987 the use of DMSO to soften collagen during surgery, permitting degrees of immediate tissue stretching or expansion previously unknown. In this application a combined use of topical and intravenous DMSO was used for the first time. He discussed the clear advantage of this technique over other surgical reconstructive techniques.
DMSO is reported(11) to be approved in Canada for two indications: interstitial cystitis and scleroderma. Interstitial cystitis is a condition of chronic soft tissue contraction and irritability of the urinary bladder, resulting in frequent need to urinate.
At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions with DMSO.
DMSO dosage when treating Peyronie’s disease
Not only is DMSO rapidly absorbed through intact skin, but other chemicals on the skin surface with DMSO are taken in with it. Therefore, the area of skin (and the hands applying DMSO) must be clean, because anything on the skin will also be absorbed along with the DMSO.
For the first few applications, apply DMSO only to the base of the penis since this is the toughest skin in the area. After you are confident that you are not sensitive to DMSO, then proceed to apply to a larger area and to the area closer to the end of the penis near the glans where the skin is more thin and delicate.
Apply only enough DMSO to wet the skin. Transfer of DMSO into the skin is a chemical process, and does not require being worked or rubbed into the skin. While applying to the entire shaft is appropriate, special attention should of course be given to the area directly over the scar or scars.
IMPORTANT: Your body will tell you if you are using too much DMSO, usually meaning you are applying it too often for you. If you are using DMSO too often, you will get a slight irritation or rash. If this happens, simply stop using the DMSO, rest the skin for a few days, and then begin again at a lesser frequency and see what you can tolerate. It’s as simple as that. For more details, see below under “Side Effects”.
Learn how easy it is to create an effective Alternative Medicine plan, click on Organize Peyronie’s Disease Treatment.
DMSO use is not intended for healthy people. It can be medically administered via three routes: oral, injection through IV drip, and topically through the skin. Most reports of adverse effects of DMSO occur when it is taken by mouth or directly into a vein, although there is controversy even about this. When DMSO is delivered through the skin the most common side effect is a garlic-like taste in the mouth and body odor, and less often, a temporary skin rash. Some people can tolerate DMSO better than others, but skin rash and irritation typically occur when using DMSO in the upper concentration ranges of 80-100%. The DMSO that PDI uses is formulated at a less irritating 60% level. Regardless, those who do use DMSO should consult a doctor familiar about its use. Some doctors do not recommend the use of DMSO due to concerns about safety and questions about efficacy. If your doctor has such a concern, advise him/her of the lower concentration of our preparation, as well as it being given through the skin. The potential for contamination exists in DMSO products designed for industrial use; the DMSO that PDI uses is of pharmaceutical grade and purity, minimizing this concern.
While side effects to the use of DMSO are possible, most that actually occur with any frequency are in the nuisance category: a brief garlic-like body odor and taste in the mouth. With continued use this disappears in time. Other less common side effects include stomach upset, sensitivity to light, and headache. Skin irritation can develop at the site where DMSO is applied topically. The possibility of this happening is minimized not only by the 60% dosage level, but also by the addition of urea in the special formula PDI uses. High concentrations (80-100%) of DMSO are more likely to irritate the skin, although many use 100% DMSO with no problem.
If skin irritation occurs on the penis, scrotum, or other area of contact, immediately discontinue use and seek the advice of a physician. In addition, contact PDI with your concern for additional direction. From our experience, when a rash develops, it is usually due to DMSO being used too frequently. Here is a suggested course of action to follow if an itch, sensitivity or irritation develops where DMSO has been applied:
1. Immediately stop use of DMSO and the other topical therapy to the penis. Note how often you were applying the products to your skin when the irritation started.
2. Wash the area well with mild soap and water only, rinse well. Air dry.
3. After symptoms subside and skin has cleared, wait three days before re-applying any DMSO or other product back to skin of penis.
4. After the skin returns to a normal appearance and feel, with no redness or itch, begin a small and restricted trial. Apply a smaller amount of both DMSO and the other topical therapy than you used when the irritation developed initially. Do this only once a day for two or three days.
5. If no rash, irritation or itch develops, apply slightly more of the DMSO and other topical therapy to the penis. Again, apply only once a day for two or three days.
6. If no rash, irritation or itch develops after this heavier dose, then begin treatment twice a day, using the same amount of each of the DMSO and other therapeutic product. Consider using it three times a day if possible.
7. DO NOT AGAIN USE THE SAME DOSE OF DMSO AND OTHER THERAPY PRODUCT YOU USED WHEN THE IRRITATION FIRST DEVELOPED.
Technique of using DMSO for Peyronie’s disease treatment
First apply one or more primary substance (vitamin E and/or Super CD Serum) to the skin, then apply DMSO. Always apply DMSO last and the vitamin E oil and/or Super CP Serum before it. Allow the DMSO to penetrate the skin for full benefit (about 5-7 minutes), even though the skin will still be wet looking and covered as before by the DMSO gel. Even though the skin looks the same and is still wet with the gel, the DMSO almost immediately begins to penetrate the skin and take in with it the vitamin E and Super CP Serum.
When using DMSO for the first few times, it is not unusual to almost immediately experience a slight temporary and pleasant warmth or tingle (maybe lasting 30 seconds) where it has been applied. This is the response of the subcutaneous fat layer of the skin to the presence of the DMSO. It gets into your tissue so fast, the reaction is almost immediate! This transfer of DMSO and the other therapy products into the skin is complete in about 5-7 minutes regardless of the gel that remains on the surface of the skin, so it is unnecessary to leave the gel on longer than those 5-7 minutes.
Go to our special FAQ page for answers to frequently asked questions about Peyronie’s treatment.
The benefit of DMSO on fibrous sclerodermal tissue is speculative, but supported by many studies. Tissue treated with DMSO demonstrates major alterations in chemical composition. Tests(1) show an increase of mucopolysaccharides (a chemical found in the fibrous tissue elements of skin, composed of an amino acid and long sugar molecules linked into repeating polymeric units) in the area treated with DMSO. It is reasonable to assume the mucopolysaccharides come from collagen and fibroblasts as they are broken down by DMSO. This same study reports, as DMSO treatment continued there was continued change of the cellular structure as the tissue approached a normal appearance.
In addition, glycosaminoglycan (GAG) and hydroxyproline accumulation showed intensification of connective tissues metabolism while under DMSO treatment. This is determined by the increase level of GAG and the normalization of its qualitative composition, although this research was based only on two weeks of testing.
Peyronie’s disease connection
DMSO used alone demonstrates ability to soften the fibrous hardening of scleroderma, as well as similar fibrous tissue diseases, and stretch tissue needed during plastic surgery. While scleroderma is not PD, PD shares enough similar collagen and soft tissue abnormalities to make it reasonable to connect the benefits of one problem to the other.
● DOUBLE IMPORTANCE OF DMSO ●
1. DMSO has its own therapeutic properties, probably related to its sulfur content, that make it a valuable addition to any therapy program for PD. Used alone, it can soften many types of dense fibrous tissues.
2. DMSO carries other therapies into the tissue when they are combined on the skin. Therefore, vitamin E or copper will be driven in deeper and faster into the tissue where the PD scar is located. It is said that DMSO makes other therapies work better.
DMSO has a second strong PD connection by virtue of its ability to quickly carry – or as some say, “drive” – other therapies into the deep tissue layers for additional therapeutic benefit.
This double-duty action of DMSO has twice the potential benefit in a broad base PD program. If you are going to use vitamin E or copper in your plan, then you really should strongly consider including DMSO just so that the vitamin E and copper can penetrate deeper into the tissue for maximum potential benefit.
Commercial product information
This concludes the technical discussion concerning DMSO. What follows next is the presentation of commercial information about a particular product that PDI endorses and sells in its Natural Complementary Medicine Products division. PDI does this so that you may easily identify what we think is the best therapy product of its kind, and then make it available for sale easily and at the best price we can.
Please bear in mind that PDI cannot answer your questions or help you with your therapy plan if we do not have knowledge, experience or confidence with “foreign” therapies. On the PDI website we clearly state, “Sorry, but due to the volume of emails PDI receives and with limited hours available in a day, we can only answer questions from PDI customers. When you purchase your therapy products only from PDI you have full access to the vast experience and careful assistance available to our customers. If you purchase inferior grade or questionable bargain products elsewhere, you will have to rely upon that source for whatever help you might need later.”
We take this position because after doing this work since 2002 we sincerely believe that you stand a better chance to reverse your PD if you only use products listed in the PDI and Natural Complementary Medicine websites.
DMSO product recommendation
PDI could not find a DMSO product that contained both PABA and MSM. As a result we contracted with Dr. Stanley Jacob’s Laboratory to manufacture our own DMSO product, called PMD-DMSO Gel. This combination was selected because of the encouraging reports and research behind each therapy. Our opinion is that this combination is a good way to get as much additional therapy into the lesion area as possible. We think you will not find a more pure and safe DMSO product anywhere.
DMSO is a solvent that will combine with another substance that is on the skin. When combined like this, both the DMSO and the other substance will be taken deeper and more quickly into the tissue. This combination of two or more therapies increases their effectiveness in treating your PD, in a process known as synergy.
The DMSO product from PDI, called PMD-DMSO Gel, is a unique preparation made by Stanley Jacob’s Laboratory that contains PABA and MSM for added therapeutic benefit. This special formula with these ingredients cannot be found anywhere else. We think PMD-DMSO Gel gives you just one more advantage to bring an extra layer of therapy down toward deeper than otherwise possible into the PD scar.
By combining Callisto vitamin E oil, or Super CP Copper serum, with a layer of DMSO over the scar area – or even using vitamin E and copper at the same time along with DMSO – you receive not only the benefit that each is taken deeper and faster into the tissue, but the DMSO has its own therapeutic advantages as well.
Click Callisto Vitamin E OIL or Super CD Serum to learn more about how these products can be used in putting together your PD therapy program, along with DMSO.
By now you know the philosophy of PDI is to treat the scar aggressively with as many different therapies as possible, for maximum therapeutic potential. Remember the PDI treatment philosophy is a lot like ganging up on your problem, “USE EVERY GOOD RESOURCE YOU CAN FIND, ALL AT THE SAME TIME, FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES TO START SEEING RESULTS, THEN CONTINUE UNTIL YOUR BODY HEALS TO THE BEST OF ITS ABILITY.” We advocate approaching the PD scar very aggressively with very conservative measures. To do less than that is to take a grave risk that could result in a failure that no man wants to endure. Using a DMSO product that already contains PABA and MSM, and then using that to drive vitamin E or Super CP Serum into the tissue is an excellent way to put that philosophy into action. In addition, PABA/MSM also contains urea to protect the delicate skin of the genital area.
PMD-DMSO Gel comes in a shatterproof polyethylene bottle with a handy dispenser spout for ease of application.
We are proud to offer PMD-DMSO Gel to you, because it is our unique product that we think is a great addition to any PD treatment plan. We highly recommend its use not only to carry vitamin E and Super CP Serum into the tissue of the penis, but because of the potential combined benefits of DMSO, PABA and MSM.
For ideas and suggestions about putting DMSO and other goodies together to help your problem, click Create a Peyronie’s Treatment Plan.
Why Buy from PDI?
1. Service PDI offers email support and assistance for the products and services we provide. We provide experience and interest in helping you with PD. PDI is here to help you with questions about the products we sell. This is an extremely valuable service the others cannot possibly match.
2. Quality and Quantity Repairing the Peyronie’s scar is such an important mission. It is critical you use a high quality and quantity of nutrients. We have done the hard part selecting good companies and products. Buy with confidence.
3. Value PDI has a competitive pricing structure of which we are proud. We doubt you can find better products that deliver the quality and quantity for the prices we have set.
4. Convenience The longer you take to start treating PD, the longer and more difficult treatment becomes, and the likelihood of success deteriorates. Everything you need is here, right now, in one place.
1. [No authors listed]. American Medical Association. Dimethyl sulfoxide. Controversy and current status-1981. Council on Scientific Affairs. JAMA 1982;248:1369-71.
2. Jimenez RA, Willkens RF. Dimethyl sulfoxide: a perspective of its use in rheumatic diseases. J Lab Clin Med 1982;100:489-500 [review].
3. Swanson BN. Medical use of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). Rev Clin Basic Pharmacol 1985;5:1-33.
4. Jacob SW, Wood DC. Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). Toxicology, pharmacology, and clinical experience. Am J Surg 114:414-26.
5. Scherbel AL, McCormack LJ, and Layle JK. Further Observations on the Effect of Dimethyl Sulfoxide in Patients with Generalized Scleroderma (Progressive Systemic Sclerosis) Departments of Rheumatic Diseases and Pathology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation Cleveland, Ohio
6. Scherbel AL. The effect of percutaneous dimethyl sulfoxide on cutaneous manifestations of systemic sclerosis. Ann N Y Acad Sci (United States) 1983, 411 p120-30d
7. Murav´ev UV, Aliab´eva AP, Sigidin IA, and Guseva NG. The Efficacy of Long-Term Application of Dimethyl Sulfoxide in a Complex Therapy of Patients with Systemic Scleroderma. Institute of Rheumatology (Director: Academic AMS USSR Prof. V.A. Nasonova) AMS USSR.
8. Murav’ev IuV; Loskutova TT; Anikina NV; Shcherbakov AB; Sokolov VB. The effect of dimethyl sulfoxide on the thromboelastographic indices and the microcirculation in patients with rheumatic diseases. Ter Arkh (USSR) 1989, 61 (12) p106-9
9. Raposio E, Santi PL: Topical application of DMSO as an adjunct to tissue expansion for breast reconstruction. Br J Plast Surg 1999, 52:194-197.
10. Vinnik CA, Jacob SW. Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) for human single-stage intraoperative tissue expansion and circulatory enhancement. Aesthetic Plast Surg.1991 Fall;15(4):327-37. .Department of Surgery, Oregon Health Sciences University.
11. Namaka M.; Briggs C. DMSO revisited. Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg, Man. Canada. Canadian Pharmaceutical Journal (Canada) 1994, 127/5 (248-249+255)