Benefits of White Soft Paraffin

a dentist and his assistant work on a patient
Dentist and assistant working on a patient (Image: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Soft white paraffin is also known as white petroleum jelly. It is used in a variety of applications which include pharmaceutical, cosmetic and skin care uses. It is an odorless jelly that is impervious to water. This makes it useful for many applications in which moisture needs to be sealed within the skin, or in which a water-resistant protective layer is required between the skin and external contaminants.

Moisturizing Benefits

The stratum corneum is an outer layer of your skin cells that retains moisture in the skin. This layer can be diminished or lost for a variety of reasons. These include aging and washing with soap and hot water. Applying soft white paraffin creates a substitute for the stratum corneum and the sebum that naturally keep your skin moisturized. This improves the health of your skin, diminishes dryness and prevents cracking.

Benefits to Other Topical Medicines

As the skin is smoothed and softened, its ability to absorb other medicines increases. The website Net Doctor notes that this is a useful effect of white soft paraffin in patients with eczema, because it improves other medicines such as corticosteroid creams’ ability to penetrate the skin, which reduces inflammation.

White soft paraffin is only useful in this application when it is used to increase the long-term condition of your skin. Simply applying it before applying other medicated creams may only dilute those medicines. When using white soft paraffin regularly to smooth and soften your skin, allow sufficient time to pass between applying the paraffin and applying your other topical medications.

Medical and Dental Lubricant and Protectorant

Soft white paraffin is used in or around the mouth to protect lips and gums during dental procedures and surgery. It is also used to lubricate breathing tubes and other foreign objects that are inserted through the mouth.

Healing Burns and Cracked Skin

The website for the University of Maryland notes medical science indicates cold water and ice are the preferred treatment materials for new burns. White soft paraffin may be used on a burn, but only after it has cooled. The Consumer Reports Health Blog lists white paraffin as useful for healing burns.

It can be applied to both retain moisture and prevent further damage to the burned area. This facilitates healing of the burn. It works similarly as a protectorant on skin that has cracked because of dryness.

Load comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.