Skin cream safety


Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is issuing advice and information about the safety of some skin creams called emollients.

It says it is important to keep away from fire, flames and cigarettes when using them, as dressings and clothing soaked with the ointment can be easily ignited.

What are emollients?

Emollient creams, ointments, sprays and body wash formulations are used by millions of people every day and help manage dry, itchy or scaly skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and ichthyosis. They help prevent patches of inflammation and flare-ups of these conditions. They are available from a pharmacy/supermarket without a prescription.

What is the risk?

They may contain paraffin or other ingredients such as sea or cocoa butter, lanolin, nut oil or mineral oils which can leave a flammable residue. These can act as an accelerant if absorbed into clothing and exposed to naked flames or other heat sources. The risk occurs when they absorb into fabrics and are then exposed to naked flames or other heat sources.

More information

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service has put together a 7 minute briefing on emollient fire safety.

You can download it here.

There is more information about the safe use of emollient creams below.