White soft paraffin is also known as white petroleum jelly. This is not an active ingredient as such, but works as a moisturiser by providing a layer of oil on the surface of the skin to prevent water evaporating from the skin surface. It is a very greasy moisturiser.
Dry skin results from lack of water in the outer layer of skin cells known as the stratum corneum. When this layer becomes dehydrated it loses its flexibility and becomes cracked, scaly and sometimes itchy. The stratum corneum contains natural water-holding substances that retain water seeping up from the deeper layers of the skin, and water is also normally retained in the stratum corneum by a surface film of natural oil (sebum) and broken-down skin cells, which slow down evaporation of water from the skin surface.
The skin dries out when too much water evaporates from its surface. This increases as we get older, and is made worse by washing, because hot water and soap remove the layer of natural oil on the skin surface.
Moisturisers are helpful for all dry skin conditions, particularly eczema and dermatitis, which get worse when the skin is allowed to dry out. Used regularly they help restore the skin's smoothness, softness and flexibility by helping the skin retain moisture. They should be applied frequently, particularly before or after washing, to prevent the skin drying out.
In conditions such as eczema, using a moisturiser regularly, even once the skin has improved, can help prevent flare-ups of this condition.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
By smoothing and softening the skin moisturisers can increase the absorption of other medicines that are applied to the skin. This is useful in conditions such as eczema because it improves the ability of other medicines, such as corticosteroid creams, to penetrate the skin and reduce inflammation.
However, if the moisturiser is applied just before or after applying other medicated creams, ointments or lotions, the moisturiser could dilute the other medicated product. For this reason you should try to leave a few minutes between applying moisturisers and medicated skin products, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
White soft paraffin as a single ingredient is only available generically (ie without a brand name).