What is White Petrolatum used for?
White Petrolatum is commonly used as a moisturizer to treat or prevent dry, rough, scaly, itchy skin and minor skin irritations (e.g., diaper rash, skin burns from radiation therapy). Emollients are substances that soften and moisturize the skin and decrease itching and flaking. Some products (e.g., zinc oxide, white petrolatum) are used mostly to protect the skin against irritation (e.g., from wetness).
Dry skin is caused by a loss of water in the upper layer of the skin. Emollients/moisturizers work by forming an oily layer on the top of the skin that traps water in the skin. Petrolatum, lanolin, mineral oil and dimethicone are common emollients. Humectants, including glycerin, lecithin, and propylene glycol, draw water into the outer layer of skin. Many products also have ingredients that soften the horny substance (keratin) that holds the top layer of skin cells together (e.g., urea, alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic/citric/glycolic acid, and allantoin). This helps the dead skin cells fall off, helps the skin keep in more water, and leaves the skin feeling smoother and softer.
How should I take White Petrolatum?
Use this product as directed. Some products require priming before use. Follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Some products need to be shaken before use. Check the label to see if you should shake the bottle well before using. Apply to the affected areas of the skin as needed or as directed on the label or by your doctor. How often you apply the medication will depend on the product and your skin condition. To treat dry hands, you may need to use the product every time you wash your hands, applying it throughout the day.
If you are using this product to help treat diaper rash, clean the diaper area well before use and allow the area to dry before applying the product.
If you are using this product to help treat radiation skin burns, check with radiation personnel to see if your brand can be applied before radiation therapy.
Follow all the directions on the label for proper use. Apply to the skin only. Avoid sensitive areas such as your eyes, inside your mouth/nose, and the vaginal/groin area, unless the label or your doctor directs you otherwise. Check the label for directions about any areas or types of skin where you should not apply the product (e.g., on the face, any areas of broken/chapped/cut/irritated/scraped skin, or on a recently shaved area of the skin). Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. Most moisturizers need water to work well. Apply the product after bathing/showering while the skin is still damp. For very dry skin, your doctor may instruct you to soak the area before using the product. Long, hot, or frequent bathing/washing can worsen dry skin.
If your condition persists or worsens, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.
How do I store White Petrolatum?
White Petrolatum is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store White Petrolatum in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of White Petrolatum that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush White Petrolatum down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using White Petrolatum?
Before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the product; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product: skin cuts/infections/sores.
Some ingredients (e.g., preservatives, fragrance) may make you more sensitive to the sun. Check the label for any warnings or ask your doctor or pharmacist if you need to take any specialprecautions when in the sun. Your doctor/pharmacist may suggest that you limit your time in the sun, avoid tanning booths and sunlamps, and use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.
Some products may worsen acne. If your skin is prone to acne breakouts, look for the word “non-comedogenic” (will not clog pores) on the label. Some products may stain/discolor clothing. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?
There isn’t enough information about the safety of using this White Petrolatum during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this White Petrolatum.
What side effects can occur from White Petrolatum?
Most emollients can be used safely and effectively with no side effects. However, burning, stinging, redness, or irritation may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has prescribed this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: unusual changes in the skin (e.g., turning white/soft/soggy from too much wetness), signs of skin infection.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with White Petrolatum?
White Petrolatum may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
If you are using this product under your doctor’s direction, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
If your doctor has directed you to use this product, or if you use any prescription product on the skin, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, including other skin care products.
Does food or alcohol interact with White Petrolatum?
White Petrolatum may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with White Petrolatum?
White Petrolatum may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this White Petrolatum.
What is the dose of White Petrolatum for an adult?
Use this product as directed.
What is the dose of White Petrolatum for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is White Petrolatum available?
White Petrolatum is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of White Petrolatum, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: December 20, 2017 | Last Modified: December 19, 2019
White Petrolatum Ointment. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-470/white-petrolatum-topical/details. Accessed December 19, 2017.
White Petrolatum-Mineral Oil Lotion. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-32662/white-petrolatum-mineral-oil-topical/details. Accessed December 19, 2017.