Herpes simplex viruses can cause both cold sores and genital herpes. Although there is no cure, there are treatments. Those include conventional medicines like valocyclovir, and natural treatments like supplements. But one controversial alternative treatment is DMSO as a herpes treatment. What is DMSO for herpes all about, and is it real? Let’s dive in. Remember, you should always consult your doctor before embarking on any new treatment plan. Information on this website is for informational purposes only.
What is DMSO?
DMSO stands for dimethyl sulfoxide. This organic compound occurs naturally in foods such as grains, fruits, vegetables, and animal products. However, it is synthesized as a by-product of wood pulp.
DMSO is a colorless liquid used as a solvent in the manufacturing industry, but it has medical applications as well. It began its pharmaceutical use in 1961. Today, DMSO is available as a prescription drug and as an over-the-counter dietary supplement.
As a drug, DMSO is administered in three ways. It is applied to the skin topically, taken orally by mouth, or given intravenously into the veins or in an IV drip.
Is DMSO Safe?
Those who promote DMSO say it works because it can quickly but deeply penetrate the skin. They claim it reduces damage from free radicals, and increases white blood cells and strengthens immunity. It’s also said to promote wound healing and reduce inflammation. But is it really true?
Despite these claims, in the 1960s, researchers found hazards like dermatitis to be associated with DMSO’s topical use. Workers around the substance in hospitals also complained of effects from the fumes like nausea.
The paper on such DMSO health hazards can be found on this page hosted by the CDC.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the use of DMSO in only two areas – the preserving of organs for transplant and for the treatment of cystitis, a bladder disease. A few decades ago the FDA suspended clinical trials after one woman in Ireland died from an allergic reaction to DMSO and other drugs she was taking. Since then, the FDA has refused many clinical trials.
Why Do People Use DMSO for Herpes?
People typically find out about DMSO in alternative health forums online.
The main advantage people see in using DMSO is that it is available for personal use as an inexpensive supplement. Many researchers and doctors do recognize some therapeutic benefits of DMSO, which motivates alternative health seekers more. However, this cannot be enough.
The medical use of DMSO is controversial and has been associated with hazards described in the CDC paper cited above. DMSO can also strengthen some medicines such as steroids or sedatives, leading to serious health issues.
People who use DMSO as a herpes treatment say they first use pharmaceutical grade to test for allergic reaction, then apply it to an outbreak for three days following the initial outbreak. The second part is maintenance. This involves applying pharmaceutical grade DMSO to the areas for three days every month even if there is no outbreak, and keeping up maintenance for five months.
It’s important to get the advice of your doctor. DMSO can negatively affect other drugs being taken and potentially have other hazards.
Users say DMSO works by passing through the membranes of cells. Their thinking is that this enables the drug to enter the cell of the herpes virus and kill it from within. DMSO contains oxygen, and they say no virus can live in an oxygenated environment. The oxygen prevents the virus cells from multiplying, so the outbreak heals quickly.
However, we make no such claims for this treatment, and recommend consulting a trusted physician before embarking upon any treatment or altering any current treatment.
A problem with DMSO is that it can’t be tested in double-blind studies. This is because garlic smell side effect makes it immediately clear which test subjects were being given the drug and which ones a placebo. This makes it difficult to conduct clinical trials. Another issue is that drug companies are concern that the garlic smell will make the drug difficult to sell to doctors and the public.
Supporters claim another problem is that no drug company can claim exclusive patent rights to the drug, thus making FDA approval even more difficult. Also, because DMSO offers benefits for many health conditions, some large pharmaceutical companies are reluctant to fund research projects that would put a cheaper drug on the market that would compete with the more expensive drugs already available.
DMSO herpes treatment has it fans and detractors. It’s best to speak to a doctor about options that are clinically tested and appropriate for the patient’s unique circumstances.
Important: Please consult a doctor before embarking on any new treatment or halting a prior one.