Aquaphor vs Vaseline - Which Is Better For Wounds

Aquaphor Healing Ointment is frequently compared to Vaseline when first-time users feel its somewhat slick, gel consistency. Here is a comparison of the two ointments:

Aquaphor

It is a topical skin cream meant for daily use. It has a thick texture but is easy to apply, and is specially produced for sensitive skin. Additionally, it has no dyes or scents, hence, there is nothing to irritate sensitive skin.

The active ingredient in this ointment is petrolatum, which is another name for petroleum jelly.

Inactive ingredients include:

Bisabolol

It helps promote healing of damaged skin and has anti-inflammatory properties. Bisabolol is derived from the chamomile plant.

Panthenol

Panthenol, also referred to as pro-vitamin B5, acts as a humectant and also conditions the skin. In addition, it speeds up healing after injury or other similar skin trauma.

Glycerin

It is a natural humectant and moisturizer which binds moisture to the outer layer of the skin and keeps it hydrated.

Lanolin Alcohol

It is composed of fatty acids and cholesterol, that have been shown to provide skin benefits. Lanolin alcohol is actually a subfraction of a wax made from wool wax (lanolin) which contains a combination of hydrocarbons which have skin-smoothing attributes.

Vaseline

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Vaseline is the name brand for petroleum jelly – a purified mixture of semi-solid hydrocarbons derived from petroleum (a naturally occurring, yellow-to-black liquid).

This product has been around since the 1870s, when Robert Augustus Cheeseborough, a Brooklyn chemist, originally developed it as a remedy for skin abrasions.

Currently, it is a US Food and Drug Administration-approved over-the-counter skin protectant.

Uses

Aquaphor

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It helps protect scrapes, minor cuts, and burns from becoming infected and speeds the healing time if you do get a skin injury.

Using this product on the affected areas helps soothe the pain, particularly when used overnight.

It is also useful for diaper rash. Applying this cream can alleviate the appearance of the diaper rash as well as it can soothe the skin irritation.

Note – this ointment is not meant to be used for bacterial infections which are concomitant with acne or to treat hormonal causes of acne.

Vaseline

It is an anti-aging element, humectant, anti-bacterial ointment that creates a barrier between your skin and the environment.

It can be used to:

  • reduce the incidence of diaper rash in babies;
  • minimize brittleness and help prevent the nails from chipping;
  • make your makeup last longer. Therefore, if you are applying the ointment before your mascara, it makes it last longer;
  • speed up the healing of minor wounds, like scrapes, cuts, and scratches.

Mechanism of Action

Aquaphor acts as an emollient to create a barrier on the surface to seal in moisture and to help soften and smooth the skin.

Vaseline helps dry skin heal itself from within and works by creating a protective barrier on the skin to lock in natural moisture.

Side Effects

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vaseline_Opened.jpg

Aquaphor

Using this natural ointment is safe, but, some people can experience the following side effects:

  • difficulty breathing;
  • wheezing;
  • swelling of the mouth, lips, or throat;
  • severe itching;
  • an unexplained rash or hives.

Vaseline

The oily and thick texture of this product may lead to clogged pores that will probably lead to acne. Therefore, if you are prone to acne, it is recommended to avoid this ointment.

Due to the mineral oils present in Vaseline, applying it topically to the nose area may cause trouble breathing or nasal itchiness.

This product promotes collagen (the protein in the human body which holds everything together) breakdown. The reduced levels of this protein decrease the elasticity and firmness of your skin, leading to wrinkles.

Moreover, this ointment is not a moisturizer and could cause skin dryness or irritation since it would deplete the natural oils of the skin.

Petrolatum jelly breaks down skin glue, that could allow the wound to reopen. Therefore, it should not be used on a deep cut which has been closed with skin glue.

Lastly, people allergic to petroleum-based ointment may experience allergic reactions due to the use of petroleum jelly.

Dosage

The most effective way to use these ointments is at night, especially before bed.

Note – avoid putting the ointments in open wounds.

Warnings & Precautions

Aquaphor

Stop using this product and contact a healthcare provider if your symptoms last more than a week.

Do not use this product on:

  • serious burns;
  • deep or puncture wounds;
  • animal bites.

Vaseline

Avoid using this product as a vaginal lubricant or for masturbation.

Do not eat or inhale petroleum jelly. In case of accidental inhalation or ingestion, contact your local poison control center as soon as possible, particularly if there was any choking, coughing, or vomiting associated with the incident.

Individuals suffering from skin conditions (such as rosacea or acne) should avoid this product, due to the fact that petroleum jelly can aggravate these skin conditions.

Aquaphor vs Vaseline (petroleum jelly) – Which Is Better?

While they’re both petroleum-based, Aquaphor is 41 percent petroleum, whereas Vaseline is 100 percent petroleum.

According to a 2013 study conducted at the DermSurgery Associates, Houston, USA, surgical wounds treated with Aquaphor Healing Ointment had a higher incidence of wound redness (52 percent) than patients treated with Vaseline (12 percent).

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1564142
http://www.pchrd.dost.gov.ph/index.php/news/library-health-news/