Emollients and Fire Risk

Emollients are creams and ointments used commonly for a number of dry skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Some dressings and bandages may come with ointment already on them.

We are reminding all patients of the fire risks of emollients. This is because flammable ingredients from the emollient can build up on things like clothing, bedding, dressings and other fabric. This means the material can light more easily and therefore burn more quickly which in extreme cases can lead to severe burns.

Patients using these products are advised not to smoke or go near naked flames. Additionally, washing clothing or fabric at a high temperature may reduce emollient build-up but does not completely remove it. This risk applies to all emollients, including paraffin-free emollients. Any patients on medical oxygen should not use any paraffin based products.

For further information, please see the following link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/safe-use-of-emollient-skin-creams-to-treat-dry-skin-conditions

Video on Safe Use Of Emollients by Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and National Fire Chiefs Council: https://youtu.be/GAv7RTjDClU