Paraffin is a mixture of hydrocarbons derived from oil and coal. It is used in cosmetics or even for therapeutic uses, but to make wax paper for the base of some foods. Perhaps where you have seen paraffin the most is in candles, since there are many that are made with this substance. In fact, when you melt a candle and the wax falls into your hands, it has a very similar effect to that of paraffin. The hydrocarbons are refined at high temperatures and heavy oils are obtained, then they are cooled to zero degrees and crystallized and then separated by centrifugation or filtration. The remaining product is what is sent to the laboratories for later use. In this FastlyHealarticle, we tell you about the cosmetic and therapeutic uses of liquid paraffin.
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Properties and therapeutic uses of paraffin
Paraffin has many properties, but the best known and most demanded is moisturizing, which is why it is widely used in beauty treatments. However, it also has therapeutic uses that not many people know about.
It is very suitable for muscle pain or even osteoarthritis, arthritis, contractures or sprains. The application of heat and its action in deep areas of the dermis make it ideal for treating this type of injury. It can be very useful in physiotherapeutic applications, either as a treatment or for rehabilitation. What it does is that through heat it calms the pain of the injury.
For 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 carried out by inserting the area to be treated. Its therapeutic effect is much better than the application with water and, in addition, the analgesic effect is longer lasting, so the injury can hurt much less and for less time.
Summarizing, we can say that the properties of paraffin are good for cases of:
- Arthritis .
- Arthrosis .
- Vascular alterations, especially those of post-traumatic origin.
- Muscle spasms.
- Localized inflammation and discomfort.
- Stiffness in the muscles
However, you have to be careful on certain occasions. For this reason, it is contraindicated in phlebitis, diabetes, varicose alterations, with wounds or ulcers, in inappropriate cardiovascular states (with any condition) or if sensitivity problems are suffered.
In addition, it is very good for circulation , since 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 application, the skin is soft as if we had just applied cream. In addition, the paraffin adapts to all skin types and does not cause allergies.
As a drawback, the paraffin film that is created on our skin clogs the pores and this could suffocate the skin, but its application only lasts a while, so there should be no problems.
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 through vasoconstriction; First, heat is applied with paraffin and thermal blankets and then cold is applied. Vasoconstriction helps eliminate localized fat.
How to apply liquid paraffin
Once the main uses of liquid paraffin are known, let’s see how we can use it. To apply the paraffin, a paraffin bathtub or heater is usually used where it is placed to warm up and melts. You can choose to introduce your hands or the area to be treated, or apply it with a brush if the area is very large.
Paraffin bathtubs or heaters are containers suitable for this purpose that withstand high temperatures and maintain heat, without causing the outside to heat up. There are many and very varied sizes, from 2.5 liters, through 3 liters, 4 liters, 5 liters, up to a professional level with large capacity baths such as 26 and 30 liters. Be careful when heating paraffin and always use a specific container for it. Never heat the paraffin in a saucepan over a fire, as it could cause a flare-up. It is a highly flammable substance.
You can buy a paraffin kit that brings everything you need to do it at home. However, in many beauty centers they have this treatment.
- First, clean the area to be treated and dry it well.
- For greater hydration, you can massage the area with a cream, for example on the hands. Heat the paraffin while you massage. This way, the cream will penetrate the skin better and the paraffin will be ready by the time you are done.
- Now put your hand in the container. They are usually done between 3 and 5 dives, but it depends on the layer you want to put on. You can also use, as we have said, a brush to apply it. It can 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, mitten, bootie …
- 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. While you have it on, you should not move the area or it could crack and break. A 10 or 15 minute wait will suffice.
- Remove it and you will see how you notice that your skin is much more hydrated.
In the case of the therapeutic treatment with liquid paraffin, the application is the same. Some physiotherapeutic massage can be used before or after the application, but the system will be the same: application of heat and cold.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.