Smart uses and medicinal value of petroleum jelly

Petroleum jelly or Vaseline as it is commonly known can be put to many different uses. Everyone knows it as a handy moisturiser that heals chapped lips and chapped heels. However, it can do a lot more, let's find out what.

Petroleum jelly is a thick oily substance that is marketed commercially as Vaseline. It is a product that is made from petroleum, yes the same substance that is used to make the fuel that runs motor vehicles and lubricates engines.

What is petroleum jelly?

If petroleum jelly comes from the same source as fuels that run our vehicles then why is it that it is of a different in consistency? There is a reason that you smear petroleum jelly while you pour fuels. Petroleum jelly is made from denser petroleum products to which paraffin wax and mineral oils are added. The amalgamation of ingredients gives the product its distinct creamy gel like texture. It can be used by itself and also as a base for ointments, lotions and creams.

It is preferred over commercially available creams for its ability to trap in moisture and keeping the skin supple and moist especially during severe winters. It is better able to lock in moisture because of its thick consistency. Petroleum jelly is best applied after a warm water bath when the pores are open. It locks in the moisture into the skin while the oily extract penetrates into the skin, ensuring that it remains soft and supple.

There are more uses os this wonderful product –

  • Prevents windburn

    The cold winter winds can sting the skin, but a thin film of petroleum jelly on exposed skin can act as a shield between the wind and the skin.
  • Gives relief from psoriasis

    Psoriasis causes the skin to harden and gives a terrible itch. Applying this product to the affected area provides relief from the itching in addition to softening the infected area that becomes hard and scaly. Regular application of petroleum jelly makes the scaly dead skin fall off, leaving behind healthy skin.
  • Removes nits and lice

    Smearing petroleum jelly on the scalp and the roots of the hair eliminates nits and lice. It is best left overnight or for 6-7 hours. Comb hair afterwards to draw out the lice and nits. Apply baby oil to the hair, leave for 15 minutes and shampoo hair as usual. The gooey jelly washes off with ease.
  • Soothes dry and chapped lips

    Coating the lips with petroleum jelly averts quick evaporation, which leaves the lips cracked and dry. It is an idyllic moisturiser for the lips and can be used as a lip gloss, for soft, shiny, plump lips.
  • Shields bruises, grazes and cuts

    A thin film of Vaseline over a bruise, graze or cut, prevents bacteria from penetrating the skin and causing infection
  • Treats burn injuries

    Vaseline can be applied on minor burns to moisturise the traumatised skin and hasten the healing process. However, Vaseline should not be applied on a fresh burn, as it can trap the heat within and cause more damage.
  • Averts allergies

    Dabbing a little petroleum jelly when there is a lot of pollen in the air can avert allergic reactions in individuals sensitive to pollen. The pollen adheres itself to the Vaseline and this prevents it from travelling further into the nasal passage where it can trigger allergic reactions
  • Check nosebleeds

    Nosebleeds, especially during long flights can be averted by lining the inside of the nostrils with petroleum jelly. The jelly keeps the moisture intact in mucous membranes and this prevents nosebleeds.

A little tub of petroleum jelly comes in handy for nursing mothers. The jelly can be applied to the nipples to avoid them from chafing, with the constant breastfeeding. Care must be taken to remove all traces of the petroleum jelly from the nipples before feeding the baby.

The product can also be applied on babies' bottoms and in their groin region to avoid nappy rash. It can also be applied on the hands to keep them soft and supple and on elbows to remove stubborn, dried up skin cells.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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