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Versatile Vaseline

When Jack was working on my Land Rover last week, he asked for Vaseline, to seal a broken gasket. When I ran the Portland Marathon last year, Vaseline was handed out to prevent chafing and blistering, but I’d already applied it liberally. This morning I was asked whether it could remove those crusty skin growths called seborrhoeic keratoses, and it appears from an article in today’s Telegraph that it can.

The Telegraph reports that English-born American chemist Robert Augustus Chesebrough began developing Vaseline in 1859 when he noticed that oil-rig workers used the petroleum by-product that accumulated around drill rods to help heal cuts and burns. After almost a decade of research, he perfected the process of producing a translucent, odourless gel from the petroleum jelly, and registered Vaseline as a trademark in 1872.

It works by creating the optimal conditions for the skin to heal itself. This, really, is half the success of medicine – creating the conditions so the body, which is a great self-healer, can heal. Dry skin conditions will benefit from Vaseline, and anything such as nappy rash caused by chafing, and that is to say nothing about the benefits to a Land Rover. We put Vaseline on the battery terminals, too.

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