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Is Petroleum Jelly Good For You?

What can happen to those who rub petroleum jelly in their nostrils before going to bed.

December 23, 2010 |
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Transcript

Petroleum jelly. Not to eat. People, rub inside their nostils when their nasal membranes get dry. I know it has the dreaded P word in it, but is it harmful? Harmless, or helpful? Harmful. A report last year of lipoid pneumonia. And this is not the first case. Not surprising, perhaps, since the jelly liquefies at body temperature. Physicians and patients need to be aware of the hazards and should try to stop this habit. But it’s not the petroleum itself—it’s the fact that you’re putting any kind of oily substance in your nose, particularly at bedtime, so even the non-petroleum products should not be used this way.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

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Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other "HHH" videos (Harmful, Harmless, or Helpful?). Also, there are 1,686 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

For some context, please check out my associated blog posts: Soymilk: shake it up! and Vitamin B12: how much, how often?

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  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other “HHH” videos (Harmful, Harmless, or Helpful?). Also, there are over a thousand subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/in2reading/ in2reading

    What about using petroleum jelly to keep your lips soft?

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/jmboss/ jmboss

    I find that salt sprays for dry nostrils are just not enough.

    While reviewing the cited sources, I wondered if plant based oils such as olive oil would be a safe alternative to animal and mineral based oils?

    • Dan

      He answered that exact question at the end of the video.

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Also be sure to check out my associated blog post Vitamin B12: how much, how often?!

  • Derrek

    I get really dry skin. What would you recommend? I have a strange habit to rub my fingers and use a lot of petroleum jelly. I can’t stop it and it wears out my finger pads. What would you suggest.

  • Sebastian

    Yeahh, I’d like to know an alternative that works though Dr Greger… When I have cracked lips from the intense cold of northern UK I use this stuff to stop my lips cracking and bleeding.

    What would you recommend?

    Seb

    • Emma

      Hi Seb, I also live in the UK and would recommend buying an organic unrefined shea butter from ebay. It’s great, melts inbetween your fingers and works so much better than petroleum jelly!