What Are Paraffin Dips?

Paraffin dips are offered with manicures at many salons for reasonable prices.
Paraffin dips are offered with manicures at many salons for reasonable prices. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Paraffin dips are treatments for the hands and feet.The paraffin is a mineral wax that is melted for use. If you are searching for a solution to dry, cracked skin, or for relief of joint discomfort, dips will deliver the desired outcome. Once the treatment is completed, the healthy layer of skin hidden beneath dead skin cells is revealed. The skin appears younger and softer and aches, pains and stiffness are relieved from the joints.


Warm paraffin dips soften dry skin through the delivery of moisture to the skin's surface. Adding moisture and removing dead skin cells relieves the dry appearance, making skin appear younger and feel softer to the touch. The more layers of wax used, the greater the amount of heat delivered to the skin's surface and to the joints. The heat relieves aches and pains associated with arthritis.


The paraffin dip procedure takes approximately 30 minutes. The paraffin wax is heated into liquid form in a special container. Hands or feet are dipped into the liquid several times. Between each dip, the wax is allowed to harden. Once dipping is complete and a thick layer of wax coating is achieved, the body part is covered with insulated mitts or plastic liners. After 10 to 15 minutes, the covering is removed and the wax is peeled from the skin.


Paraffin dips are intended to improve the skin's appearance and feel, as well as relieve aches, pains and stiffness in the joints. Some practitioners perform dips for other joints as well, such as the elbows and knees. By allowing the paraffin wax to harden around the body area being treated, moisture is sealed in and forced through the skin's surface. The heat and moisture, along with increased circulation, work to relieve pain.

Paraffin dips give hands a younger, softer appearance.
Paraffin dips give hands a younger, softer appearance. (Image: Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)


Paraffin dips are available at most nail salons and full body spas. Many salons offer combined services, which include pedicure and paraffin dip, manicure and paraffin dip and combinations of hand and foot treatments that may include massage. For a paraffin hand dip alone, the cost is about $15 to $25, as of 2011. You can purchase an at-home paraffin dip kit at a significantly higher price, but the wax is reusable several times.

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