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Petrolatum topical

Generic name: petrolatum topical [ PET-roe-LAY-tum-TOP-i-kal ]
Brand names: Aquaphor Healing, Hydrophor, ilex Skin Protectant, Vaseline, Vicks BabyRub, ... show all 24 brands
Dosage form: topical ointment (-; 51.1%)
Drug class: Topical emollients

Medically reviewed by on Feb 13, 2024. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is petrolatum topical?

There are many brands and forms of petrolatum topical available. Not all brands are listed on this leaflet.

Petrolatum is a mineral oil made from petroleum. Petrolatum topical (for the skin) is used to help protect minor cuts, scrapes, burns, or eczema.

Petrolatum topical is also used to treat or prevent chapped lips or cracked skin, and to protect skin from the drying effects of wind or cold weather.

Petrolatum topical helps seal out wetness and is helpful in preventing diaper rash or skin irritation caused by bladder or bowel incontinence.

Petrolatum topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Petrolatum topical side effects

Petrolatum topical may cause serious side effects. Stop using petrolatum topical and call your doctor at once if you have:

Less serious side effects may be more likely, and you may have none at all.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.

Before taking this medicine

If you are breastfeeding, avoid applying petrolatum topical to breast areas that may come into contact with the baby's mouth.

How should I use petrolatum topical?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.

Do not take by mouth. Topical medicine is for use only on the skin.

Do not use this medicine on deep wounds, puncture wounds, animal bites, or serious burns.

You may apply petrolatum topical as needed. First clean the area to be treated.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after using this medicine for 7 days, or if your condition clears up and comes back.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since petrolatum topical is used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. Skip any missed dose if it's almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of petrolatum topical is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medicine.

What should I avoid while using petrolatum topical?

Avoid getting petrolatum topical in your eyes.

What other drugs will affect petrolatum topical?

Medicine used on the skin is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.