Creams utilized to address pores and skin problems like eczema pose a key fire threat and may well have contributed to hundreds of fatalities, the fire service has warned.

Chris Bell from West Yorkshire Fireplace and Rescue Company mentioned the creams soak into fabrics which includes bedding and garments, which can effortlessly ignite if they appear into make contact with with naked flames, cigarettes or any other warmth supply. “Hundreds of hundreds of people use them, we’re not guaranteed how quite a few fire fatalities may possibly have happened but it could be into the hundreds,” he explained to BBC 5 Reside.

The cause some of the merchandise are flammable is mainly because they include paraffin. An investigation by BBC 5 Reside discovered just seven out of 38 merchandise made up of paraffin carried fire warnings on their packaging.

So need to you be switching your paraffin-based pores and skin merchandise for a safer substitute?

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Dr Emma Wedgeworth, expert dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesperson, advises against ditching your creams just yet. Instead, she says you need to be very well aware of the challenges and do all you can to minimise them.

Emollients are a critical portion of treating inflammatory pores and skin problems like psoriasis, ichthyosis or eczema. They perform by lessening water decline from the pores and skin and masking the pores and skin with a protecting movie. Nearly all emollients include liquid paraffin or white gentle paraffin, equally of which are flammable.

But then, so are quite a few other varieties of product as Dr Wedgeworth points out: “It is essential to be aware that all oils have a flammability threat. A huge proportion of around-the-counter merchandise will include mineral oils, mainly because these are very successful at fixing the pores and skin barrier function. The greater the share of these oils, the greater the threat, so thick greasy ointments or pure paraffin creams will have the highest threat of currently being flammable.”

She provides that even extra ‘natural’ alternate options these types of as pure shea butter, glycerin or coconut oil nevertheless have a flammability threat. So the very best point you can do is to be aware of the risks and continue to be risk-free.

The NHS advises people utilizing these merchandise to continue to keep very clear of fire, flames and cigarettes as dressings and garments soaked with the ointment can be effortlessly ignited. In the meantime the Medicines and Health care merchandise Regulatory Agency says people need to alter their garments and bedding frequently to lower the fire threat.

Stuart Gale, operator and main pharmacist at Oxford On line Pharmacy provides: “Users need to be thorough when cooking around an open up gas flame, they need to unquestionably keep away from cigarette smoking and the use of naked flames, these types of as candles close to their beds – as they are effectively generating them selves into a human fire-lighter.”

He says pharmacists have an obligation to explain the challenges to people far too and provides: “We would welcome proper, highly visible warnings [on packaging], to make sure there is no confusion on the portion of the person.”

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