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October 1977

Failure of Dimethyl Sulfoxide in the Treatment of Scleroderma

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(10):1398-1402. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640100076013

• Nineteen patients with systemic scleroderma and five with localized scleroderma were treated with topical dimethyl sulfoxide by painting and immersion techniques. Partial control was obtained by using a very low concentration (5%) on one side when involvement was symmetrical. Duration of treatment ranged from 3 to 15 months. Topical dimethyl sulfoxide did not improve the skin induration, range of motion, or Raynaud's phenomenon in the scleroderma patients. No substantial beneficial effect was noted on the healing of ischemic ulcers, and the continuous application of dimethyl sulfoxide did not prevent new ulcerations from developing. Relief of pain was noted in ten of 16 patients, probably due to the local analgesic effect of dimethyl sulfoxide.

(Arch Dermatol 113:1398-1402, 1977)