Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline, Aquaphor)

What is it?
Safety Tips

Petroleum jellyWhat is petroleum jelly?

Petroleum jelly is a clear, creamy substance used on the skin as a barrier to keep water and irritants away.

It is most commonly known by the brand name Vaseline. It is also the main ingredient in Aquaphor and many other lotions and cosmetics.

The label on the product can tell you whether it contains petroleum jelly. It may also be referred to as petrolatum.

What happens if someone swallows petroleum jelly?

They will be fine. Eating a small amount of petroleum jelly will likely not cause any symptoms.

If someone swallows a lot of petroleum jelly—more than a mouthful—they could have diarrhea or stomach cramps, or possibly throw up.

What can you do if someone swallows petroleum jelly?

If someone has swallowed petroleum jelly, give them some water to wash out the taste.

If you are worried, call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222, chat online or text POISON to 85511.

You do not need to call 911 about petroleum jelly.

How should I store and handle petroleum jelly and other medications?

  • Store petroleum jelly and other skin medications away from oral medications like toothpaste.
  • Keep all creams and medications out of reach of children and pets. Store diaper bags and purses up high and out of sight.
  • Read the label every time you use a medication.
  • If you have any questions about your medications, ask your doctor or pharmacist, or contact the poison center—call 1-800-222-1222, chat online, or text POISON to 85511.

Last Updated: Tuesday February 16th 2016