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Use Dimethylsulfoxide in gel preparations

DMSO Gel UK is a semi-solid dispersible preparation and has particles composed of either small molecules to large particles which are mutually dispersed. Generally, the gel is used for topical preparations or used on the skin.

In general, the gel consists of:

Gelling Agent

Polymers are used to form the important structures of gels. Examples: natural gum, carrageenan, tragacanth, pectin


The gel is a continuous preparation or mostly water, water is a good growth medium for bacteria so preservatives are added to prevent bacterial growth. Examples: benzoate acid, methyl hydroxybenzoate

Hygroscopic material

The addition of hygroscopic ingredients to prevent the loss of their container in the gel preparation. Examples: glycerol, propyleneglycol

Chelating agent

To prevent binding and sensitivity to heavy metals.
Example: EDTA

Permeation Enhancer

Added to increase the amount of drug that can be absorbed by the skin.
Example: Dimetiksulfoside, ethanol, azone.
The skin is a very selective sense of the body to be penetrated by foreign substances including drugs for that it is necessary to add permeation enhancers or enhancers so that the drugs used can have a better therapeutic effect. Dimethylsulfoxide is a permeation enhancer that meets requirements as an enhancer that has been shown to increase gel penetration.

DMSO as a penetration enhancing agent is one of the substances that can increase penetration in transdermal preparations due to the ability of DMSO to remove water from the stratum corneum and is accompanied by fat transfer and changes in protein configuration.

In one study it was proven that dimethylsulfoxide can increase the penetration of diclofenac sodium gel at the best concentration, namely 5% by 60.440%. In addition, the research conducted has proven that dimethylsulfoxide can increase the penetration of theophylline gel at the best concentration of 7% by 88.5% as well as based on research proved that Dimethylsulfoxide can increase the penetration of Acyclovir Gel at the best concentration of 10% by 98.62%

The skin as the outermost organ of the body has a function as the body’s epithelial system that keeps out and enters important substances from within and from outside the body. In certain circumstances, the skin can be penetrated by compounds or drugs that can cause therapeutic effects or toxic effects that have local or systemic effects or throughout the body.

Most drugs enter and penetrate the skin by penetrating across the stratum corneum via the intracellular and extracellular spaces. Drugs that are hydrophilic or water-soluble usually enter via the transcellular route, whereas drugs that are lipophilic or fat-soluble usually enter via the intercellular route in the stratum corneum. So that to be able to penetrate properly, the drug must be added with enhancers.

Definition of Enhancer

An enhancer is an excipient or material that has a function as a permeation enhancer or a penetration enhancer for a drug that is usually used on the skin topically. The addition of enhancers to the formulation of a topical skin preparation aims to increase the number of active substances in drugs that penetrate or penetrate the skin so that they can have even better medicinal effects.

Enhancer Requirements

An enhancer can or may be used if it meets the following conditions

1) Non-toxic, non-irritating and non-allergenic.

2) Inert, has no pharmacological properties.

3) Can prevent the loss of endogenous substances from the body

4) Maybe mixed with active ingredients and carriers in the preparation.

5) Can be accepted by the body and can immediately restore skin function when removed from the preparation.

6) Colorless, tasteless, odorless, and relatively cheap.

Enhancer Mechanism of Action

The enhancer works by increasing the penetration of the drug by increasing the solubility of the drug ingredients in the carrier. The greater the amount of the active substance that dissolves, the more the drug is penetrated. The second way is to influence the skin membrane by reducing diffusion resistance in the stratum cornea and increasing membrane permeability.

Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO)

Dimeltilsulfoxide is a sulfoxide class enhancer that effectively increases permeation by changing the intercellular properties of the protein structure in the stratum corneum or by increasing lipid fluidity by disruption of the fat chain structure.

DMSO is used as an additional solvent in commercial idoxuridine. It is also used to treat severe herpetic skin infections, especially those caused by herpes simplex, and has also been used topically to treat systemic inflammation.