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Paraffins sources, health risks

Saturday, October 07, 2017 by

Paraffin are colorless chemical compounds also known as alkane. They are a primary component of natural gas and petroleum. Paraffins with less than five carbon atoms per molecule are typically gaseous at room temperature, those with five to 15 carbon atoms are liquid in form, and those with more than 15 carbon atoms per molecule are solids. This chemical is commonly used in the production of various skin products, such as creams, lotions, lip balm, soap, and eczema ointments.

Harmful effects that can be caused by paraffins

There are only a few side effects of paraffins. Most of the side effects of this chemical are skin-related because it is usually applied topically. Liquid paraffin is a variant of petroleum commonly known as mineral oil. It has been criticized because it does not exactly moisturize the skin, or it only moisturizes the skin temporarily. Several skin experts said that this chemical compound can clog pores, promote the development of comedonal acne, and cause breakouts. People are advised to not use products with paraffins as a safety precaution.

Body systems harmed by paraffins

The body organs that can be harmed by paraffins are limited because there is not much information on its health hazards.

Ingestion of liquid paraffin or inhalation of paraffin candle fumes may cause negative effects, such as nausea, vomiting, headaches, or benzene pollution which can cause lung cancer.

Paraffins in wax form is applied to the face, hands, feet, and body in making the skin moisturized and softer during spa treatments.

Paraffins can cause harm to the skin. People with extremely sensitive skin can experience heat rash, known as prickly heat, from applying paraffin to the skin. This condition is characterized by tiny red bumps on the face, neck, and upper torso, which can cause itchiness and discomfort. In addition, people with chemical sensitivities can get minor swelling or breakouts from paraffin wax treatments.

People with hypertension, diabetes, or varicose veins should refrain from getting paraffin treatments because it can lead to abnormal sensations, numbness, and hindrance of blood circulation among diabetic people.

Where to learn more


Paraffins are colorless chemical compounds that can be in solid, liquid, and gas forms. They are a major component of natural gas and petroleum. It can cause breakouts and prickly heat when applied to the skin. Moreover, it can cause vomiting, nausea, or headache when inhaled or ingested. It can also be harmful to people with hypertension, diabetes, or varicose veins.

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