Liquid Paraffin Uses: Cosmetic and Therapeutic
Paraffin is a mixture of hydrocarbons derived from petroleum and coal. It is used in cosmetics or even for therapeutic uses, as well as to make waxed paper for the base of some foodstuffs. You may have also seen paraffin in the candles, since there are many that are made with this substance. In fact, when you cast a candle and the wax falls into your hands, it has a very similar effect to paraffin. The hydrocarbons are refined at high temperatures and heavy oils are obtained, then cooled to zero degrees Celsius and crystallized and then separated by centrifugation or filtration. The remaining product is what is sent to the laboratories for later use. In this article of oneHOWTO, we tell you the cosmetic and therapeutic uses of liquid paraffin.
Properties and therapeutic uses of paraffin
Paraffin has many properties, but the best known and most demanded is its moisturizing properties, which is why it is used a lot in beauty treatments. However, it also has therapeutic uses that not many people know about.
It is highly recommended for muscular pains or even osteoarthritis, arthritis, contractures or sprains. The application of heat and its capacity to act on deep areas of the dermis make it ideal to treat this type of injuries. It can be very useful in physiotherapeutic applications, either as a treatment or for rehabilitation. What it does is that it calms the pain of the injury through the heat .
To do this, paraffin baths are used to help relax muscles, relieve spasms and improve contractures. Paraffin is used as thermotherapy in cases of rheumatism and trauma and is performed by insertion of the area to be treated. Its therapeutic effect is much better than the application with water and, in addition, the analgesic effect is more durable, so the the pain of the injury will decrease and won't last as long.
In short, we can say that the properties of paraffin are good for cases of:
- Vascular alterations, especially those of post-traumatic origin.
- Muscle spasms.
- Localized inflammation and discomfort.
- Stiffness in muscles.
However, you have to be careful on certain occasions. It is thus contraindicated in phlebitis, diabetes, varicose alterations, wounds or ulcers, in inappropriate cardiovascular conditions (with some affection) or if you suffer from sensitivity problems.
In addition, it is very good for circulation because, when applied hot, the heat acts as a vasodilator and this causes blood flow to increase.
Cosmetic uses of liquid paraffin
The main cosmetic use of paraffin is hydration and this is its most valued property. What happens is that it creates a film that retains the loss of hydration and maintains the temperature of the skin. In this way, after its application, the skin turns soft as if we has just applied cream. In addition, paraffin fits all skin types and does not cause allergies.
The only inconvenience is that paraffin film that is created in our skin clogs pores and this could suffocate the skin, but its application only lasts for a while, so there should be no problem.
Another aesthetic use, although less known, is to lose weight. It is used to reduce localized fat in areas such as hips and legs. This is done by vasoconstriction; first, heat is applied with paraffin and thermal blankets, cold is then applied. Vasoconstriction helps gets rid of localized fat.
How is liquid paraffin applied?
Once we know the main uses of liquid paraffin, let's see how we can use it. To apply paraffin, it is usually used a bath or paraffin heater where it is placed to warm up and melt. You can choose to introduce the hands or the area to be treated in the liquid bath, or apply it with a brush if the area is very large.
Paraffin baths or heaters are suitable containers for this purpose that withstand high temperatures and maintain the heat, without causing the outside to heat up. There are many and varied sizes, from 2.5 liters,3 liters, 4 liters, 5 liters, up to professional heaters with large capacity baths such as those that can contain 26 and 30 liters. Special care are must be taken when heating paraffin and always a specific container for it should always be used. Do not warm the paraffin in a pot on the hob, as it could cause a flare. It is a highly flammable substance.
You can buy a paraffin kit that contains everything you need to make it at home. However, you will find this treatment in many beauty centers.
- First, clean the area you are going to treat and dry it well.
- For greater hydration, you can give the area a moisturizing cream massage, for example on the hands. Heat the paraffin while giving the massage. In this way, the cream will penetrate better into the skin and the paraffin will be ready for when you are finished.
- Now put your hand into the container. You should ideally dunk your hand around 3 to 5 times, but it depends on the amount you want to apply. As we have mentioned, you can also use a brush to apply it. It may be a thicker or thinner layer but it has to be dense enough to retain body temperature.
- To keep the heat better, the ideal would be to wrap the area with a plastic, gauntlet, medical sock ...
- You must wait until it cools down. You will notice it because it will harden something, but it is not a painful or annoying process. As long as you have it on, you should not move the area or it could crack and break. Leave it on for around 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove it and you will see how you notice that your skin is much more moisturized.
In the case of therapeutic treatment with liquid paraffin, the application is the same. Some physiotherapeutic massage may be used before or after the application, but the system will be the same: application of heat and cold.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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