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Cutan Ocul Toxicol. 2014 Mar;33(1):63-9. doi: 10.3109/15569527.2013.821615. Epub 2013 Aug 5.

Dimethyl sulfoxide could be a useful probe to evaluate unusual skin angioneurotic reaction and epidermal permeability.

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Dermatological Department, Affiliated Hospital of Xuzhou Medical College , Xuzhou , China .



Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) has been suggested as a traditional chemical probe for assessing skin susceptibility and barrier function. The purpose of this study was to determine the role of DMSO test for the evaluation of unusual skin angioneurotic reaction and epidermal permeability.


Thirty healthy volunteers were exposed to 98% DMSO on the flexor forearm skin for three exposure durations (5 min, 10 min and 15 min). Clinical visual score and biological physical parameters were obtained. The volunteers were divided into two groups according to the clinical visual scoring. The skin parameters were subsequently analyzed.


There was a significant correlation between clinical visual score and biological physical parameters. The skin color parameters (a*, oxyhemoglobin, erythema and melanin index) and blood flow values were significant between two groups regardless of duration of DMSO exposure, and a significant difference between density values could also be detected if we regrouped the volunteers according to the sting-producing score. Our results also suggested there was no correlation between questionnaire score and clinical visual score or other parameters.


Application of 98% DMSO for 10 min combined with a* (at 30 min) and blood flow (at 10 min) values could help us to identify persons with a hyper-angionerotic reaction to chemical stimulus. The penetrative activity of DMSO correlated with the thickness of the individual's skin.

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