Liquid paraffin used in medical and health practices is a highly refined mineral oil that has various benefits ranging from skin nourishment to treating ailments. It is important not to confuse the available forms of paraffin as the one offered for fuel has none of the medical benefits discussed.
Paraffin wax is another available form of the product also used in different medical spheres.
There are two main forms of paraffin available in the market. The first and most popular form of paraffin is highly refined kerosene which is strictly provided for use as fuel. The second is a refined mineral oil with applications in the medical and cosmetic industries.
This review is about the latter, which is often prescribed for various medical applications. Although liquid paraffin can be used for different health issues, it is very important to follow your doctor’s advice before using it. Non-prescribed use of medical paraffin can result in undesirable side effects.
What is Paraffin Wax?
Paraffin wax is a more subtle form of medical paraffin available and is mainly used in depilatory procedures. It is derived from petroleum and has a low melting point, making it perfect for skin application.
It is an FDA approved emollient used as treatment in skin softening and smoothing. Paraffin wax is also popularly used in removing excess hair from the skin. Cosmetologists also use it to create a paraffin wax bath that has various skin benefits.
Paraffin for Medical/Health use
Liquid paraffin is used in medical treatment and can be prescribed by your doctor to help with constipation problems and intestinal obstruction.
The main property of paraffin that makes it ideal for medical treatment is its inability to be absorbed as it passes through the gut and intestines. Some of the popular medical and health uses of paraffin include the following:
To Ease Constipation
Constipation is a common phenomenon that manifests in hard bowel movements that make going to the bathroom difficult, painful, or both. Severe cases of constipation can result in obstipation or the inability to pass stool.
The major common cause of constipation is heightened water absorption in the colon. Since liquid paraffin is not absorbed in the intestinal tracts, it acts as a laxative that reduces the amount of water the colon absorbs from stool. This in turn eases constipation.
Treating Intestinal Obstruction
Intestinal obstruction refers to inflammatory diseases that cause swelling and growth of scar tissues inside the intestines narrowing the tract. The condition can be caused by scars from previous colon surgeries, colon cancer tumors, and adhesion, all which result in impacted bowel.
Liquid paraffin can be used to wear out scars and lubricate the intestinal walls, allowing smooth passage of food.
Due to its lubrication properties, liquid paraffin can be used to relieve some cases of moderate dry eyes. Dry eye occurs when there is no sufficient quality tear to nourish and lubricate the eye.
Special paraffin designed for eye lubrication can be applied to correct such eye defects and also encourage the production of natural tears. It is however important to use paraffin eye lubrication only when advised by your doctor.
In Cosmetic Products
Paraffin is a common ingredient in most cosmetic products, ranging from detergent creams to hydrated creams, cold creams, makeup oils, and bronze oils among others. Paraffin wax is also used in beauty products and emollients. Because of its viscosity, cosmetologists may recommend paraffin wax to those who want to remove hair from their arms, legs, chest, bikini lines, and eyebrows.
Wax has a long history of use in the cosmetic world and can be traced back to Roman Empire massages and physical therapies. Today, paraffin wax is available for a host of skin benefits, in addition to softening and smoothing. Parents can apply paraffin wax on their babies to reduce the risk of skin rashes and eczema caused when babies remain napped for several hours.
There are other medically approved uses of paraffin and doctors can suggest its use at any time for a variety of digestive and skin ailments. Some physicians have even recommended paraffin treatments to arthritis and fibromyalgia patients.
Benefits of Using Paraffin
The advantages of using paraffin are quite obvious and straightforward. From maintaining soft, smooth skin to treating dry palms, paraffin is more than just an additive used in salons and spas. Some of the clear cut benefits of using paraffin include the following:
Most salons and health spas use paraffin in various treatments for the skin and body. It opens pores and exfoliates dead skin cells, exposing new rejuvenated skin. It also provides a barrier that locks in all the natural oils your body provides.
Additionally, paraffin increases moisture and can help you soften calluses and dry hands. This is why it is a recognized emollient approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Besides cosmetic benefits, paraffin treatment can result in therapeutic benefits and has been recommended in the management of arthritis and fibromyalgia. When used in massage, paraffin wax quickly builds up heat resulting in thermo-therapy that relaxes stiff muscles, increases blood flow, and soothes joint pain. It also reduces spasms in sprained and pulled muscles.
Cost and Safety Benefits
Paraffin treatment is cheaper and safer than most alternatives. In fact, they are some of the cheapest cosmetic and therapeutic products in the market. What’s more, the treatment is non-invasive.
Risks and Side Effects
Since paraffin is natural and safe, no side effects have been identified. However, it is advisable to avoid external paraffin treatment if you have numbness in the hands and/or feet, if you have poor blood circulation, or if you have open sores, rashes, and wounds. Diabetics should also stay away from paraffin treatment.
Paraffin Guide Review Summary
Petroleum products are known for their skin benefits and paraffin offers an affordable efficient way to rejuvenate your skin and cure dryness issues. Those suffering constipation will also benefit from liquid paraffin without suffering any side effect.
It is important to use medical paraffin products following a doctor’s prescription to avoid counteractions, especially if you are using other drugs or have an underlying medical condition.
More importantly, purchase genuine quality products from credible licensed retailers allowed to sell such products in your area.