- A yellowish mixture of the softer members of the paraffin or methane series of hydrocarbons, obtained from petroleum as an intermediate product in its distillation; used as a soothing application to burns and abrasions of the skin and as a base for ointments. SYN: petroleum jelly, yellow soft paraffin.- heavy liquid p. SYN: mineral oil.- hydrophilic p. p. composed of cholesterol 30 g, stearyl alcohol 30 g, white wax 80 g, and white p. 860 g, to make 1000 g.- light liquid p. light mineral oil.- white p. of the same composition as p. except that it is decolorized by treatment with activated charcoal; used for the same purposes as p.. SYN: white soft paraffin.
* * *pet·ro·la·tum .pe-trə-'lāt-əm, -'lät- n a neutral unctuous substance that is practically odorless and tasteless and is insoluble in water, that is obtained from petroleum and differs chemically from paraffin wax in containing unsaturated hydrocarbons or naphthenes as well as alkanes, and that is produced in several forms: asa) a yellowish to light amber semisolid mass used chiefly as a base for ointments and cosmetics, as a protective dressing, and in lubricating greases called also petroleum jelly, yellow petrolatumb) a white or faintly yellowish mass obtained by decolorizing yellow petrolatum and used similarly to it called also petroleum jelly, white petrolatum, white petroleum jelly
* * *pet·ro·la·tum (pet″ro-laґtəm) [L.] [USP] a purified mixture of semisolid hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum; used as an ointment base. It is also used as a protective dressing and soothing application to the skin. Called also mineral or petroleum jelly and yellow soft paraffin.
Medical dictionary. 2011.