This is how your body lotion can set your bedroom on fire

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It’s quite terrifying to think that the product you bought to treat a particular skin condition could be the very same reason you end up needing skin grafts due to third degree burns.

This has been the unfortunate fate of at least 37 people since 2010 whose deaths were linked to the skin creams used to treat either eczema or psoriasis.

Very few of us actually pay attention to the ingredients listed on the packaging of cosmetic products.

The BBC reports that E45 and Cetraben were the lotions directly linked to the deaths of two elderly men in England; while over 28 other deaths were also caused by paraffin-based creams.

The reason for this is that such products usually contain paraffin, which can easily soak into your clothes and linen, making it flammable.

So this is not to say that the actual lotions are dangerous, but rather that when used in combination with exposure to other hazards it may put you at risk of catching fire. Lotion residue easily builds up on your clothes and linen, meaning that your next smoke break or candle-lit dinner might end in an unfortunate blaze of horror.

If you are using paraffin-based skin creams it is probably best to do laundry more regularly to keep your fabrics paraffin free.

Read more: Is you pillowcase giving you bad skin?

After these incidents the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in the UK has set out to investigate whether manufacturers should put warnings on labels, while a spokeswoman from the Propriety Association of Great Britain said the onus is on consumers to read on-pack instructions.

But we all know that very few of us actually pay attention to the ingredients listed on the packaging of cosmetic products and would therefore miss that “paraffin hydrocarbon” and “ethyl acetate” in the midst of all the chemistry jargon.

However, certain E45 medicinal products will now have updated labels which read as follows:

"Regularly change your clothing, bedding or dressing when using large quantities (>100g) of this product, and keep away from naked flames.”

And in case you have forgotten, these are the other products in your toiletry bag which may be flammable:

• Lotions
• Hand soap
• Make up
• Hair spray
• Deodorant
• Nail polish
• Nail polish remover
• Fragrances
• Hair dye


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