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liquid paraffin



Liquid paraffin is used for temporary relief from constipation and relieving pain in the anus or rectum due to piles (hemorrhoids) or cracks in the anus (anal fissure). As a cream, it is used to treat dry and inflammatory skin conditions like contact dermatitis (allergic skin reaction after exposure to a foreign substance), atopic dermatitis (itchy, red, swollen, cracked skin due to inflammation), senile pruritus (itchy skin in the elderly), eczema (rough, itchy and blistered skin patches) and ichthyosis (fish like scaly skin by birth). 

How it works

Liquid paraffin belongs to a class of drugs called laxatives. It works by softening the hard stools and thus relieves constipation. It also acts as an emollient (agent that softens or soothes the skin) that moisturizes dry skin, thereby relieving dryness and itching.

Common side effects

Lipoid pneumonia (inflammation of lungs due to lipids in bronchi)


Expert advice

  • Do not use liquid paraffin to treat constipation for a prolonged period of time; it should be used for temporary relief only. 
  • Inform your doctor if you experience continuous pain in the abdomen or difficulty in swallowing.
  • Inform your doctor if a rash or skin irritation occurs or in case your skin condition becomes worse.
  • Be careful after applying on skin, as liquid paraffin can cause greasiness on parts applied.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding. 
  • Do no take if allergic to liquid paraffin or any of its ingredients.
  • Do not take as a laxative in children below 3 years of age.
  • Do not take as a  laxative in patients with intestinal obstruction or any unknown cause of abdomen complaints.

Frequently asked questions

liquid paraffin

Q. Is liquid paraffin good for constipation?
Yes, liquid paraffin provides temporary relief from constipation.
Q. Is liquid paraffin good for dry skin?
Yes, liquid paraffin helps to moisturize dry skin.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)