Many individuals use petroleum jelly to lubricate the nose and prevent epistaxis caused by dry air. In patients who also use an intranasal steroid for seasonal allergies, will the petroleum jelly interfere with steroid absorption? If the steroid is instilled first, how long should the patient wait before applying the petroleum jelly?—JILL PURTEE, CPNP, Taos, N.M.

Even though use of intranasal petroleum jelly is common, it is not recommended. The heaviness of the base does not allow normal secretion and/or absorption of fluids or medications. Vitamin E oil is a much more appropriate and equally available remedy. This lighter nonpetroleum lubricant has a natural emollient effect. Concomitant use of intranasal sprays is more effective since absorption is less inhibited. For a non-oil-based lubricant, such OTC products as Ayr Saline Nasal Gel are also effective.—Sherril Sego, FNP-C, DNP (183-5)

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