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Is Vaseline Safe for Nasal Dryness?


WindWith winter weather exacerbating many Sjögren’s symptoms, including nasal dryness, the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation has been receiving a lot of questions about the use of Vaseline to relieve the pain associated with dryness of the nose and sinuses. 

Below is a Question & Answer on this topic and how inhaling Vaseline, when used to sooth nasal dryness, can affect the lungs. This was taken from a past SSF National Patient Conference talk "Lung Complications & Sjögren’s," by Richard Meehan, MD, FACP, FACR.

Q. I’ve been putting Vaseline inside my nose. I’ve read recently that the grease can get in your lungs and cause a special type of pneumonia. So, is this something that you shouldn’t put in your nose?

A. Well, our ENT physicians don’t like Vaseline. They recommend that people frequent the use of nasal spray, that puts the normal saline back in the nostril. Some of them like to use a little bit of olive oil, but generally it's thought that Vaseline is toxic to the lungs if you inhale it.

- Dr. Meehan


Lung Complications & Sjögren’s by Dr. Meehan

Chief of Rheumatology and Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Meehan also is Co-Director of the Autoimmune Lung Center at National Jewish Health and a specialist in autoimmune diseases and rheumatoid conditions affecting the lungs.

Lung complications are sometimes the most misunderstood and life-threatening manifestations of Sjögren’s. Dr. Meehan will add to your understanding of the various pulmonary complications and leave you with knowledge to share with your own physician. The audio is taken directly from a talk given at our National Patient Conference.

Member Price: $16
Non-Member Price: $30
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Each talk is 30-40 minutes long, includes the Question & Answer at the end of each talk, and comes with the handouts used by the presenter. 


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I have been using Vicks. I guess that is just as bad as Vaseline, right?
Posted @ Monday, November 04, 2013 1:18 PM by Barbara Greenlund
Vaseline is not bad. Vicks can be bad, because as you have got a allergic reaction for the menthol. My throat, nose and ear specialist gives as advice a gel of honey. I don't know it's in The States aviably.
Posted @ Monday, November 04, 2013 2:54 PM by Richard Troost
what about jojoba and lavender oils? i put jojoba and lavender oils in my nostrils nightly with a cotton swab to help me sleep. as an added benefit, my nose doesn't get as dry in the winter anymore.
Posted @ Monday, November 04, 2013 3:44 PM by GinaBonBon
Ayr, which comes in a small tube and lasts forever, is very good and safe for use around and inside nostrils. I doubt anything is good if you use too much. Saline spray won't last through the night.
Posted @ Monday, November 04, 2013 5:34 PM by Roxanna
I have tried Vaseline, Vicks, nasal saline, olive and vegetable oil, but all seem to irritate my nose. Any other ideas? Has anyone tried the nasal gels?
Posted @ Monday, November 04, 2013 6:46 PM by Ann Marie Middleton
As a Sjogren's sufferer of several years I also get very dry nasal irritation as well as bronchial conditions. I have tried just about all OTC preparations with no avail; however, in Canada (not sure about the USA) I am able to purchase "Burt's Bees" salve (use on lips and in nostrils which is a bit like "Vicks" except no petroleum--)just a bee product I understand. It does not irritate and lasts all night. Of course, if you have allergies to bees, you may be unable to use it. I love it and it has saved me from alot of night discomfort. I also use a vaporizer in our winters.
Posted @ Monday, November 04, 2013 7:55 PM by Linda
I love the idea of using a honey product! I will have to look for Burt's Bees Salve. I wonder if the lip balm could be used in the same way. Thank you!
Posted @ Monday, November 04, 2013 9:07 PM by Ann Marie Middleton
I used 100% coconut oil. Works great, no odor and it last. I see it day and night. Great for skin also.
Posted @ Monday, November 04, 2013 10:25 PM by Santa Illes
My ENT said to use a little Polysporin ointment in my nose. It works VERY well.
Posted @ Tuesday, November 05, 2013 2:51 PM by hmconsmom
There is a nasal gel available OTC in the US. You can find it by all the other sinus products. Works good. It's a saline gel and may be the same as Roxanna mentioned.
Posted @ Saturday, November 30, 2013 9:07 PM by Faith Chapman
Ive been doing Sesame Oil which is used in Ayurvedic medicine. It helps alot. I apply with eye dropper. I have used Coconut Oil but it doesnt seem to be thick enough to stay.
Posted @ Sunday, January 19, 2014 3:44 PM by karen smith
My first Rheumatologist was appalled upon finding out I used petroleum jelly (Vasoline in my case) because he said it is petroleum and can cause cancer. I tried the Ayr products to no benefit. My ENT then told me to use Neosporin as needed. I have used it for about a year two to four times a 24 hour period with very good results in my opinion. I will look at the Burt's Bees Salve as I didn't know they made a salve. It always seems so odd that I can go through a box of Kleenex in a day and still have my nasal tissue so dry and painful....but again this is no surprises no matter what evidences itself any more : - ) 
Good luck to all with this and other issues.
Posted @ Tuesday, February 11, 2014 12:02 PM by Richard
My husband went to our pharmacy to order the Burt's Bees ointment; what arrived was Baby Bee's ointment instead; I had never tried it but decided to keep it--$8.00 Cdn. + and I really like this for SS. Plastic jar; pinky finger dab in both nostrils at night and a few times through the day; Then different finger spread over lips of course, several times through the day and before sleep; works wonderfully and I wish not to use other products or prescriptions as this is more natural. Hope this helps; but get enough rest as our condition is much worse when we are tired. Don't get over-tired or you seem to pay for it.
Posted @ Tuesday, February 11, 2014 12:54 PM by Linda
Perhaps,my nasal dryness is not as severe as others, I use a humidiferin my bedroom and family room. I live in the desert. We either run the forced air for heat or to cool the air.It sucks what little humidity we have out of the house.
Posted @ Tuesday, April 15, 2014 11:23 PM by Lillian
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