Petroleum jelly is such a versatile product, that it serves not only as cream, but as moisturizer and lubricant as well. Petroleum jelly is usually an odorless mixture of hydrocarbons that is in semisolid form at room temperature. It is commonly used in a variety of industries and is sold in many drugstores and medical supply shops worldwide.
Although initially used by workers in oil rigs in the 1800s, petroleum jelly use has transformed, being used medically to seal off burn, cuts, and wounds to stop the bleeding and avoid microbes from penetrating the skin surface. And since it has become an effective skin protection cream, many people use it to avoid dry, flaky skin, especially during cold winter months.
Although the product is widely used, reports of petroleum jelly containing carcinogenic or cancer-causing contents have been surfacing. Such ingredients are infused in the product when chemicals are added during the manufacture process. And since the product is extremely cheap or affordable, manufacturers hardly bother checking if the raw materials contain harmful contents.
Petroleum jelly is likewise harmful if applied in and around the nose. People in cold regions apply the product in their nasal areas to soothe their chapped and runny noses. However, doing so can develop a condition known as lipid pneumonia, an infection of the lungs that develops due to the inhalation of fats such as those contained in petroleum jelly.
To answer whether petroleum jelly is harmful to health, the answer is yes, but only if it contains other carcinogenic chemicals and if improperly used. Generally speaking, petroleum jelly is safe to use. Consumers just need to check and recheck brand labels for presence of any harmful ingredient.