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The question is:

Title: How does vaseline compare with generically branded petroleum jelly in terms of cosmetic outcome for wound healing?

I wonder how vaseline compare with generically branded petroleum jelly in terms of cosmetic outcome for wound healing (scar appearance). Assume a small and rather superficial wound, e.g. resulting from a small shave biopsy.


What I have found so far:

I read on https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/petroleum-jelly#qampa-differences (mirror):

Vaseline is the original, name brand for petroleum jelly. Theoretically, there is no difference between the name brand and generic brands. However, Unilever, the company that makes Vaseline, claims that they only use the highest quality ingredients and a special purification and filtration process. There may be small variations in consistency, smoothness, or even fragrance with Vaseline and generic brands. However, there does not appear to be a difference in safety between products. The best advice is to read the label. It should be simply 100 percent petroleum jelly.

Deborah Weatherspoon, PhD, RN, CRNA, COI

But they don't mention cosmesis.

I'm guessing this is a marketing claim with no medical consequence, but was curious if by any chance there was an actual difference impact on cosmesis.

I believe this is a quite general question for improving the cosmetic outcome following wound treatment. It doesn't strike me as a personal medical advice but instead is a generic question on a typical treatment.

Why was the question closed by 1 mod as "requesting personal medical advice"?

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    Because that's obviously what you've been doing for the last week or two. You've asked multiple questions that are obviously centered on your personal medical issue but were carefully crafted to avoid site rules, and I've let them go, but when you asked us for opinions on Vaseline as a brand name vs. petroleum jelly, you reached my limit. But I know how this discussion will go, so I'll retract my close vote and let your question go the way the rest of them go. – Carey Gregory Nov 9 '20 at 0:10
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    I agree with @Careygregory and noticed the same. Therefore, I have put my vote in for reclosing as personal medical advice. – Chris Rogers Nov 10 '20 at 8:09
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    @ChrisRogers What's personal about comparing two treatments? – Franck Dernoncourt Nov 10 '20 at 8:10
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    Petroleum jelly and petroleum jelly aren't two treatments. I hope your basal cell carcinoma resolves successfully, Frank, but you know perfectly well you're misusing the site. If you answered your own questions I would see value in them, but you never do. They're generally too well researched to leave room for an answer and too specific to be of general interest, so they go unanswered, rendering them useless. Are you still refusing to answer questions because of some perceived slight from a moderator 5 years ago? – Carey Gregory Nov 10 '20 at 14:19
  • @CareyGregory the stack exchange employee (shog9) who deleted all my answers got fired, so now I'm happy to answer questions and self answer whenever possible (e.g., I did self answer all my basal cell questions that I found the answer to). For the vaseline vs. generic petroleum jelly question, we could rephrase it as: is the petroleum jelly sold as Vaseline superior to other petroleum jellies? That's okay if the answer is no this is just marketing. A well-researched question help people with the same question, even is no answer is posted yet. Thanks for the best wishes! – Franck Dernoncourt Nov 10 '20 at 20:10
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    @FranckDernoncourt If there was good evidence that Vaseline was superior to generic petroleum jelly then wouldn't this evidence be plastered all over the packaging? – Bryan Krause Nov 10 '20 at 22:34
  • @BryanKrause Maybe, but why was the question closed by 1 mod as "requesting personal medical advice"? I still fail to see why. – Franck Dernoncourt Dec 3 '20 at 9:44
  • Aside: I thought your q on scab picking was interesting, but alas it didn't look like answerable with research... I think that q of yours was deleted. – Fizz Dec 19 '20 at 21:40
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Asking about the difference between Vaseline and other petrolium jelly products for your situation is impossible to answer. While they are not saying that other brands use lower quality ingredients and manufacturing processes, Unilever, the company that makes Vaseline, claims that they only use the highest quality ingredients and a special purification and filtration process.

Whether or not others are inferior would be down to speculation, debate and opinion. Not only that, if we were to say the same as Healthline in the link I provided that

Theoretically, there is no difference between the name brand and generic brands

That could constitute medical advice and where would we be if you was unfortunate to pick a cheaper petrolium jelly which was different in quality and it was inferior, doing nothing to help? What if more serious consequences occurred and an ingredient was added which interfered with your treatment for BCC?

Please be assured that what I am saying here is meant in the best possible terms and not an attack on you or anyone else here, but you have been a member of this stack for over 5½ years and know the rules on seeking personal medical advice. Along with the best wishes from @CareyGregory I too hope your basal cell carcinoma resolves successfully, as I am sure others here do.

Please be aware that when questions are closed for personal medical advice, it is not done maliciously. It is done in the your best interest, leaving you to speak to those who are helping you to diagnose and treat the BCC.

Since Oct 19th (3 weeks ago), you have posted 14 questions regarding Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC). The first being about fine needle aspiration vs shave biopsy.

Now when I saw the first question I was considering voting to close for personal medical advice but then thought differently as it could benefit others to know why shave biopsy may be preferred. So I answered it.

A number of your questions on the topic have been answered but apart from Which criteria are used to choose whether to perform a shave biopsy or a punch biopsy to diagnose suspected facial basal cell carcinomas? which I flagged as a possible duplicate, your questions from Nov 1st onward are all about treatment for the BCC along with scar prevention.

Now I understand that you may wish to look for a suitable treatment and scar prevention but surely, the best person to assess that would be your doctor, oncologist and/or dermatologist?

My vote for reclosing as personal medical advice as mentioned in the comments still stands and I have not retracted it.

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  • Thanks for your feedback and best wishes. The two first paragraphs would make up a nice answer to the question. Being focused on one medical issue helps define expert-level questions. Many of these questions were discussed with several experienced dermatologists at top medical institutions and since I'm a researcher I'm naturally looking at the medical literature in addition to meeting practitioners, since there is sometime some lag between research findings and medical practice and it helps make discussions with practitioners more fruitful. – Franck Dernoncourt Nov 11 '20 at 7:52

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