What Are the Advantages of Petrolatum Gauze?

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  • Written By: Karize Uy
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 19 February 2019
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One of the most important advantages of petrolatum gauze is it is does not contain any adhesive that can further irritate the skin. This kind of gauze is also usually non-toxic, as it is a byproduct from naturally-occurring resources. Another important advantage of this kind of gauze is that it promotes a faster healing process for the wound.

Petrolatum gauze is basically a simple, fine-meshed gauze that has been soaked in white petrolatum, more commonly known as petroleum jelly. The gauze itself is usually made from cotton as the material is gentle on the skin and allows the skin underneath to still breathe. To maintain their sterile quality, the gauze is usually pre-cut in different sizes and individually wrapped, but there are “overwrap” varieties available to cover large and extensive wounds.


Adhesive is not necessary for this kind of gauze as the petrolatum on the surface is sticky enough that it clings to the skin upon application. This non-adhesive feature is very advantageous because it does not cause any further trauma to the skin when the gauze is removed and replaced, unlike adhesive gauze that may even peel off some of the skin when removed. The petrolatum also ensures that the gauze itself will not bond itself on the wound and will not cause further infections. This is especially important for open wounds, skin grafts, and severe burns, where the skin is usually left raw. Petrolatum gauze also has the ability to conform to the irregular shapes of body parts such as in knees and the elbows.

Another advantage of petrolatum gauze is its non-toxicity, given that petrolatum is primarily made from organic materials. The petrolatum also does not penetrate the skin because it is oil-based, making it an excellent barrier against bacteria. Using this kind of gauze also requires less supervision for the wound and less dressing changes, since the gauze does not get easily soggy from the wound’s secretions.

Wounds dressed with petrolatum gauze also heal faster than those dressed with other types of gauze and dressings. This is because the petrolatum helps the skin retain its moisture, which helps the skin heal faster. Many people have a misconception that wounds heal faster when they are dry, but the moisture actually helps the skin regenerate new cells to cover the open wound. This kind of gauze is especially helpful in skin grafts, where the harvested skin should be attached properly to the open wound.


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Post 4

@F. Boyle, I don't know what your back ground in the medical field is and I am not trying to insult you, sir. These types of wound dressing are a great help to patients who need care where the Burn unit is not there, or they cannot get to other advanced treatment for Trauma care. So please take the time to get educated on the subject before bad mouthing it.

Post 3

I'm using petrolatum gauze on a burn scar. I read that burns heal faster when they remain moist and petrolatum gauze is recommended. It's true, my scar has been looking much better since I started using this kind of gauze.

Post 2

I find it strange that people consider petrolatum gauze a good thing. Petroleum jelly is a by-product of petroleum production. It's stuff that's left over when petrol products are made. Then, they put industry grade bleach in it to whiten it (very, very strong stuff). So this so called "natural" petroleum jelly is actually full of dangerous chemicals. I don't think it should be used on skin at all. There are other truly natural and beneficial alternatives that could be used in its place.

Any beeswax or other natural wax or oil based balm with antiseptic herbs such as calendula, lavender or tea tree oil will work. Pure aloe vera gel can be applied next because it helps heal and fights scars. Even raw honey will work. These are all much better than petroleum jelly.

Post 1

Regular gauze is not good to apply over wounds that have some discharge or blood on them. What happens is that the gauze sticks to the discharge as the wound heals. So when the gauze has to be replaced with a new one the next day, the hardened discharged pulled away, causing the wound to bleed again.

I've had this happened to me so many times. The only solution was always to apply some ointment on top of the wound to keep the gauze from sticking. Sometimes that was good and sometimes not as the ointment caused the wound to water and slowed down healing.

Petrolatum gauze is the perfect solution to this problem. I've been using it

for the past one year for cuts and injuries. It works great. It helps the wound heal and it never sticks. The wound gets enough air but it's also protected from dirt and bacteria. I recommend this type of gauze to everyone.

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