Paraffin therapy or paraffin wax treatments are said to be very therapeutic for the skin and joints. Suggested natural remedies include use for eczema, psoriasis, and similar skin conditions--or simply to keep skin smooth and well moisturized.
The idea in paraffin therapy is to heat paraffin wax so that it melts and then apply the wax to hands or the skin of other body parts that need moisturizing or to sore joints that need the therapeutic effects of the hot wax. Certainly, the basic idea makes sense.
Warning: The trouble is that paraffin is a petroleum derivative, and as such it is a known carcinogenic agent. That makes it hardly the sort of thing you want to heat up and apply to your skin for an extended period of time.
An Alternative: May we suggest a natural alternative? Consider using coconut oil as a truly natural remedy for your dry skin, cracked hands, or other skin care and joint care needs. Coconut oil behaves in much the same way as paraffin wax, but it is a much safer and more therapeutic natural ingredient. We use it all the time for our skin care routine, heated or not!
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
[WARNING!] 06/02/2009: Gottalilv from Queensland, Australia: "As Paraffin is derived from petroleum and as petroleum is a known carcinogen, I have a problem with you advertising that it is good for the skin and other disorders. There is a world wide push by alternative therapists to have all petroleum products removed from all personal products so I don't understand why you would be promoting it. Anything placed on the skin is absorbed by the body and can build up and cause harm. The oils and waxes used hundreds of years ago were from plant based sources and totally natural. Any by-product of petroleum for personal care should be banned as it is not safe.
A great natural oil for the body is Organic Coconut Oil. It heals, moisturises and makes the skin feel great with a delightfully subtle coconut perfume - totally natural and harmless. You can eat it by the spoonful, cook with it, use it on bread and toast instead of butter, it does not raise cholesterol levels, animals love it and it makes their coats shine. You can use it on your hair if it's dry and rub it on scars to reduce the marks left by trauma or surgery, and it will also fade brown age spots on the body. The greatest all-round remedy, panacea, and massage oil."
EC: That's an old page on EC! Thanks for letting us know -- you are absolutely right. Will just leave your feedback.
12/06/2012: Tucker from Bradford, West Yorkshire replies: "There is plenty of evidence that suggests paraffin has been used throughout history for a range of ailments and illnesses. Walter Last has written a brief history on its usages. Search google "kerosene, Walter Last", Really worth looking into."