Petroleum Jelly / Vaseline
Way back in 1859, there was a surprise discovery in one of the several oil rigs in America. The substance discovered is called petroleum jelly. Initially, petroleum jelly was a black substance akin to wax that blocked the oil rigs. Some years later, in 1870, a chemist named Robert Chesebrough produced a pale hued, fragrance-free gel that became to be known as Vaseline later. Currently, this exceptional gel is employed in nearly all households for various purposes.
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Actually, petroleum jelly is a blend of different hydrocarbons and is in semi-solid state at normal room temperature. After it has been refined properly, it does not have any odor. Although various industries use petroleum jelly, generally people relate this substance to the popular brand name personal care product called Vaseline. The product is available in several general stores, in addition to drugstores and medical supply houses.
It is important to note that petroleum jelly possesses several useful attributes. It is also used in the form of a remedial product for healing burns and cuts. There was a time when people used petroleum jelly for treating small sunburns, but never apply it to major burn injuries or cuts. At present, people use it extensively for treating several problems related to the skin, especially eczema and dry skin.
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In the form of a personal care product, petroleum jelly has several practical utilities. While it actually does not cure burn injuries and cuts, petroleum jelly may help to keep the lesions clean by means of blocking them from spreading as well as infections and, hence, it may prove to be very helpful during emergencies. In addition, petroleum jelly may also shut contagious agents below the skin. Nevertheless, you should never apply this product to fresh burn injuries. In the form of a tool that protects the skin, petroleum jelly may prove to be very beneficial, particularly when the weather conditions are cold. However, applying this product will make the skin very oily.
A number of people also suggest using petroleum jelly for treating cracked and runny noses, particularly during the winter months. However, it is unfortunate that you should not apply this substance in the region of your nose, because it may result in a health condition known as lipid pneumonia - an infection of the lung attributed to inhaling fats. In addition, petroleum jelly is also likely to inhibit the ability of the nose to cleanse the air naturally while one inhales. This may also lead to infection of the lungs. You should also not use petroleum jelly in the form of a sexual lubricant together with any barrier protection made from latex because doing so may possibly damage the latex.
In a number of cases, people may also use petroleum jelly in the form of a practical lubricant, despite the fact that its greasiness may cause obstruction to machinery. Since petroleum jelly works to shield objects from being oxidized, you may also use it to cover metals that are susceptible to damage caused by oxidation. For instance, several etchers and printers use a slight covering of petroleum jelly to save types as well as plates from harm due to oxidation with a view to store them properly.
Health benefits of petroleum jelly
As its name suggests, petroleum jelly is produced from petroleum, the basic substance from which car engine lubricants are made and which fills a petrol tank. Since petroleum jelly is made from comparatively heavy petroleum products, such as paraffin wax and mineral oils, it does not pour, but spreads on the surface where it is applied. Hence, petroleum jelly forms a first class base for ointments and balms. In addition, it is also used independently.
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Often, physicians do advice people to use petroleum jelly in the form of a moisturizer during the winter months, as this substance is not only relatively heavy, but it can also trap additional moisture compared to other common lotions. Petroleum jelly is excellent for dehydrated hands as well as feet, particularly when one applies a substantial layer of it and keeps his/ her hands under the wraps of gloves or cover up their feet with socks prior to retiring to the bed. In order to obtain the most excellent protection, you need to apply petroleum jelly only after having a bath or taking a shower. As mentioned earlier, petroleum jelly traps the moisture on the skin, exactly where it is required. Simultaneously, the oils permeate the skin and help to keep it soft as well as supple.
In fact, petroleum jelly works as a wonderful shield forming an obstruction between the skin and the wind, thereby preventing chapping or dehydration of your skin.
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- You may use petroleum jelly to alleviate psoriasis. For this, you need to apply this product to the dehydrated patches on the skin formed due to this persistent skin problem. Petroleum jelly helps to loosen as well as eliminate the stiff scales that cause itching.
- Protect from grazes and cuts
- Applying a thick layer of petroleum jelly helps to trap the moisture inside and keep out bacteria and air.
- Get rid of lice
- Head lice are irritating and the lice medications available over-the-counter have no effect on them. On the other hand, they can be eliminated by applying a dense coating of petroleum jelly to the scalp before going to bed at night. Let the petroleum jelly to stay on your scalp for the duration of the night for many successive nights together. Use baby oil while removing the petroleum jelly. When the petroleum jelly goes, it will also take away the lice along with it. It may be noted here that treating head lice with petroleum jelly does not do away with the requirement of nit combing the scalp. In fact, a number of people do not find using petroleum jelly to eliminate lice worth the effort because it may often be very difficult to remove this greasy substance. In case you find that baby oil is not effective in removing petroleum jelly from your scalp, you may try applying a liquid paste prepared with flour and liquid detergent. Allow the paste to set firmly on the scalp and, subsequently, wash your head using any good shampoo.
- Moisturize healing burn injuries
- Remember, you should never apply petroleum jelly to a fresh burn injury, as it will shut the heat in and further damage your skin. However, you may apply it about three days after the burn, when the skin begins to heal itself. Using petroleum jelly in the form of a moisturizer may prove to be effective in lessening the dryness and, at the same time, encourage better healing.
- Alleviate chapped lips
- Gently chafe petroleum jelly on your lips with a view to prevent speedy evaporation that may result in dryness. In fact, petroleum jelly is a perfect moisturizer and can also be used in the form of a lip gloss.
- Avoid nosebleed
- Petroleum jelly is also effective in preventing nosebleeds. If the mucous membranes are kept moist by dabbing petroleum jelly just a little inside the nostrils it helps in avoiding nosebleeds. In fact, this is a very useful thing to do when you are flying.
- Trap pollen
- Dabbing your nostrils with petroleum jelly will help you to entrap wafting pollen spores before they can get deep into the airways, thereby protect you from several ailments related to the respiratory tract.
- Lessen allergies
- By trapping the pollen wafting in the air just outside the nostrils, petroleum jelly helps to lessen allergies. Nevertheless, never use petroleum jelly deep inside the nostrils as it may block the airways.
- Hydrating body wash
- You may prepare an exfoliating (skin scrubbing) and hydrating body wash by mixing some petroleum jelly with sea salt.
- Curing cracked, dry feet
- If you are weighed down by cracked, dry feet, petroleum jelly is the right thing to use. Well, you may be just thinking of a simple pedicure, but it needs lot more to cure dry, cracked feet. Actually, you will be requiring a jar full of petroleum jelly, one pair socks and a sound sleep throughout the night. Apply an even, thin layer of petroleum jelly in the form of an ointment both on the top as well as the bottom of your feet prior to retiring to the bed at night. Put on the socks, as they will ensure that the petroleum jelly stays on your feet and does not smear the bed sheets. When you wake up on the following morning, you will be surprised to notice that the stiff skin of your feet has become softer, while the cracks have disappeared. You can prevent spots and blisters from developing on your feet, by treating the cracked, dry and calloused skin of your feet.
- Soft ankles
- Applying petroleum jelly to your ankles on a regular basis helps to keep them smooth as well as supple. You may also apply this product to your hands and elbows during the winter months, as this will help to protect the skin.
- Care of your hands
- Petroleum jelly contains a number of oils that help to trap moisture along the skin. In addition, petroleum jelly is thicker compared to various lotions that are based on water and this helps it to remain on the skin surface for a longer period, thereby encouraging healing for an extended period. You may be concerned about the oily residue of petroleum jelly, but this should not worry you. The best way of applying petroleum jelly is to rub a little of it onto your hands as well as cuticles till it is absorbed by the skin. Allow the jelly to remain on your hands for the night. This can be achieved by wearing cotton gloves. In fact, petroleum jelly not only keeps your hands and feet moist, but it can be applied to the entire body for soft and supple skin.
- Treating backaches
- Although it may seem incredible, you may also use petroleum jelly to cure bad backaches. Heat some petroleum jelly in a microwave oven and massage it gently on your back. Soon, you will be surprised to find that the backache is gone. Using petroleum jelly in this way really helps to alleviate troublesome backaches.
- Razor burn
- You may apply petroleum jelly to the skin soon after shaving. Doing this will help in lessening razor burns and, at the same time, soothe your skin. In addition, petroleum jelly also works in the form of an exceptional moisturizer.
Over the years, Vaseline has become an immensely popular product and, today, it is used by almost all households for various purposes. Currently, Vaseline can be obtained in different forms from the neighbourhood markets as well as online stores.