When NOT to use petroleum jelly
Think twice before using petroleum jelly for the following reasons. In some cases, it may not be effective. In worst-case scenarios, it can be dangerous.
As a lubricant for sex
Don’t use petroleum jelly as a lubricant during sex, says reconstructive surgeon Dr Eric Weiss. The biggest reason to avoid using Vaseline as a lube is that petroleum jelly weakens and damages polyurethane and latex condoms, making them more likely to fail – and could increase your risk of exposure to sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, petroleum jelly is greasy and can stain sheets and clothing. Experts generally recommend water-based lubricants that are designed specifically for sex because they won’t damage condoms or silicone-based sex toys.
While we’re talking about it, check out these 20 myths about sex that you still believe.
As a way to treat lice
Slathering the hair and scalp with petroleum jelly is a popular home remedy for treating head lice in some parts of the world. It’s said to work by smothering the lice and killing them. Unfortunately, according to a 2016 analysis of 579 studies on lice treatment published in Paediatric Dermatology, this doesn’t work. While the lice may appear to die, in reality, they’re just not moving and may “resurrect” once the jelly is washed out, the study authors noted.