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What is Vaseline® Gauze?

By Patti Kate
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Vaseline® gauze is a type of gauze material coated with Vaseline® petroleum and used for medical purposes. This mesh product is typically used as a dressing for wounds. It is also used to clean cuts, scrapes, burns, and open wounds. As the gauze is suffused with petroleum, Vaseline® gauze is less likely to conform and stick to an open wound.

Gauze products are made to be especially absorbent, allowing a wound good drainage protection when applied as a dressing. In some cases, however, typical sterile gauze may cling and adhere. When removed from the open wound, the gauze may pull or tug at delicate skin layers. This may cause a delay in the healing process or re-open a healing wound. Vaseline® gauze, however, prevents the material from clinging to skin and allows easy removal.

Other types of gauze, when applied as a wound dressing or used for cleansing cuts and burns, may cause damage to the skin or to the underlying tissue. This is especially true with a type of gauze that has saline preparation in the material. This gauze does not contain tissue-damaging chemicals, and is basically safer to use on sensitive skin. Of course, skin types may vary and some individuals may have allergy issues with this type of gauze. Therefore, it is best to test a small area of skin before using any new product if the individual is uncertain of how his body may react.

Vaseline® gauze also may provide adequate hydration to skin that has become excessively dry or is peeling. This infused gauze dressing can help replenish moisture and rehydrate the skin. In most cases, physicians will recommend changing the gauze every couple of days. If the dressing becomes wet, however, doctors recommend changing it daily.

A non-irritating dressing may be necessary for those who wish to keep a blister covered. In such a case, Vaseline® gauze may be helpful. If a doctor recommends the patient cover a blister with a sterile cloth, choosing this type of non-adherent mesh dressing may be suitable. When a blister bursts, drainage may occur, and gauze can help absorb the moisture. At the same time, gauze that is infused with petroleum will prevent the blistered skin from ripping.

Vaseline® gauze or medicated gauze is not typically recommended for use on infants. For older children, it's best to consult with a pediatrician. As with any item, if irritation from using this type of gauze should occur, it is recommended to discontinue using the product.

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Discussion Comments
By serenesurface — On Jul 07, 2012

I'm not a huge fan of vaseline gauze dressing. I think it's okay to use for a short period of time, but I wouldn't want to use it for more than a few days.

Gauze is made of cotton, so it's completely natural and safe. But vaseline is petrolatum which is a by-product of petroleum. It is used widely in the health and cosmetics sectors but I personally feel that it is not as safe as some other alternatives.

I prefer to use hydrogel (or aquagel) gauze dressing made from aloe vera. This works very similar to a vaseline gauze, but it is made of aloe vera. This type of gauze hydrates and moisturizes the wound better. Vaseline can keep the existing moisture in, but it cannot add moisture to skin.

If you're just looking for a gauze that won't tag at your skin while removing, go ahead and use vaseline gauze. But if you have a serious wound that you need to keep in dressing for a very long time and if you need hydration, then hydrogel gauze dressing is better.

By SteamLouis — On Jul 07, 2012

@literally45-- You can also get this kind of gauze online. You probably don't need so much, but if you buy it wholesale, it is much cheaper.

I run a restaurant and always keep this type of gauze in stock. It comes in handy with almost every kind of accident that can happen at a restaurant-- cuts, burns, scrapes. Just the other day, one of my employees had a sudden nose bleed that wasn't stopping. We placed a vaseline gauze into that nostril and drove him to the hospital to get checked out.

The good thing about vaseline gauze is that it remains in place really well. We used to use plain old gauze bandage before and it was so hard to keep them in place. Not to mention that it's difficult to cut and use tape when you're in a emergency situation and you have to act fast. This gauze is self-adhering, so very easy to use.

By literally45 — On Jul 06, 2012

I've had several instances where my cut or burn took twice as long to heal because the gauze stuck to the skin and ripped it off during removal. It was not pretty and it was very painful. I didn't know that vaseline gauze pads were available, else I would have definitely used it instead.

I think this must be the best type of dressing for wounds that are still bleeding or releasing fluid. I'm going to pick up a packet when I next go to the pharmacy and put it in my first aid kit.

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