Paraffin wax is an oil based wax that is derived from petroleum. It melts at 99 degrees Fahrenheit, just above normal human body temperature. This white, odorless wax retains heat very well, making it perfect for use in heat therapy.
Warm paraffin treatments offer pain relief to those suffering from chronic joint pain, arthritis, or muscle stiffness. It can also help improve skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. People wishing to try paraffin heat treatments may indulge at a local spa or may purchase paraffin bath to melt the wax in their own home. It is important to never heat paraffin wax on a stove or in a microwave, as it may catch on fire.
Before starting a paraffin heat treatment, wash the skin with soap and water to prevent contamination of the wax. Those with dry skin may wish to apply lotion, as the heat will help it absorb deeply into the skin. Dip the affected area into the melted paraffin wax and slowly pull it out. The wax will quickly harden to a solid, yet pliable state. Dip the area several times to build up a thick layer of paraffin on the skin. Once the desired thickness is achieved, place the hand or foot inside of a plastic bag to help the wax retain heat. A thick glove or sock can be placed on top of the plastic bag to keep the wax warm even longer.
The paraffin wax should be left on the skin for thirty to sixty minutes. Avoid moving fingers, toes, and other joints to prevent cracking the wax. Once the paraffin wax treatment is complete, the wax will easily peel off of the skin. The wax can be thrown away or placed back in the paraffin bath for future spa treatments.
Paraffin wax treatments are a safe and easy way for those suffering from joint, muscle, and skin conditions affecting the hands and feet to find pain relief. Those interested in warm paraffin treatments should contact their doctor to make sure it is safe for them.