Treating tick bites by applying DMSO topically

While most reports that I have read about DMSO (a liquid solution closely related to organic sulfur) suggest that it can be safely applied on insect bites, there was one article I found that expressed an opposing view. See below.

DMSO Liquid 99% (dimethyl sulfoxide) is a simple small molecule with amazing chemical, biological and physical characteristics. DMSO is the resulting by-product from the manufacture of pulp and paper. It has been used for over 100 years and is harmless when used with the proper precautions.

DMSO is a rapidly absorbed skin penetrant and is recommended as a topical application to reduce acute swelling due to trauma. With the ability to carry other substances through membranes it acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. Additionally, DMSO is a potent antioxidant, scavenging the highly reactive molecules that contribute to disease and aging, known as free radicals.

• May reduce the pain and swelling of arthritis
• Has an odor that can be dissipated with aloe and mint flavor
• May be used for insect bites, acne, neuritis, neuralgia and shingles
• In general, adverse reactions are localized and temporary

Medi-Vet, “DMSO works for insect bites

DMSO at 99% works like a charm 100% of the time. I’m the queen of bug bites – especially mosquitoes and fleas. Nothing ever really worked within 5 min. 1 drop on bite, rub in (make sure your hands and bug bite area are really clean with soap and water) – within mins, the itching stops. Amazing stuff!!!!

Posted by Sofia (USA), “Insect Bite Remedies,” earth clinic, July 14, 2019

While it can help a wound heal faster and decrease scar formation, it should not be used on wounds that are infected. Don’t use it for poison ivy or poison oak or for insect bites, since it may spread the substance that is causing your discomfort.

Guidelines for Using Dmso

If you are applying DMSO to the skin, remove clothing items that touch that area of skin before applying it. Dyes in the clothing can combine with DMSO and then go deep into human cells. It typically takes about 15 minutes for DMSO to soak in. Don’t put your clothes back over that area of skin until the DMSO has soaked in completely and the skin is totally dry

Jennifer Shipp, “HOW TO SAFELY APPLY DMSO TO THE SKIN,” AliveNHealthy, Mar 15, 2022


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