Paraffin Bath FAQ
How Does Paraffin Wax Heat Therapy Work?
Paraffin wax has a very high heat capacity, meaning it is able to absorb and retain a great amount of heat. A paraffin wax spa takes advantage of paraffin's heat-retaining capacity in a simple process called heat transfer. In technical terms, heat is transferred to the core of the affected area as paraffin goes through a phase change. As it melts, the paraffin becomes a liquid and is able to retain more heat. Then, when a hand, foot, or other area is dipped into the heated bath, the phase of the paraffin that surrounds the dipped area quickly changes into a solid. The heat that is given off is called the heat of fusion.
More simply, the heat that goes into melting the paraffin comes out when it solidifies into a comforting paraffin coating, thus transferring the heat into the affected limb. Another way to look at it is the paraffin is the medium that transfers heat from the Therabath to the painful area.
At the same time, the heat from the paraffin opens pores and increases circulation in the skin. This is why paraffin is so beneficial to skin, leaving skin softened and more radiant.
Can moist heat therapy help my pain and stiffness? How about my dry weary skin?
Paraffin therapy is one of the most effective methods of applying deep heat to relieve pain and stiffness. The warm paraffin also moisturizes for healthier looking, softer skin.
Therabath warm paraffin wax treatments are fast-acting, drug-free, and versatile, providing heat therapy for many different applications from arthritis joint pain relief to salon hand, foot, and facial services.
Therabath paraffin baths can be used in the home, office, hospital, medical spas, or clinic ...
- to soothe chronic arthritis joint pain
- to relax stiff muscles
- in therapeutic massage for clients and for practioners' self-care
- prior to therapeutic exercise
- during physical and occupational therapy
- to increase range of motion
- to relieve dryness from repeated hand-washing
- for tired, overworked hands
- for very dry skin
- for salon manicures and pedicures
- for paraffin facials
- in spas
- to warm cold hands, especially in winter
- and more!
Remember, consult your physician if you have questions about any heat therapy product.
FAQI've seen some cheaper paraffin baths in stores. Are they the same as the TheraBath?
The TheraBath is proudly made to professional healthcare standards right here in the USA -- but is available to everyone.
TheraBath make sure each unit that leaves their factory is durable, reliable, and safe. TheraBath provides quality products and service because when you're in pain, you want fast, dependable relief.How often should I use the TheraBath?
The answer depends on you. Use it as often as necessary to relieve pain or moisturize skin. Some people find that paraffin treatments are especially effective in the morning to loosen up the hands for daily activities, and again in the evening to relieve pain before sleeping. Others use their baths less often. Try a few experiments to see what works best for you.How do I know whether I should use TheraBath paraffin therapy?
As with any medical treatment, if you have specific questions, consult a physician or physical therapist before using this device.How do I clean my TheraBath?
Cleaning instructions are in your operator's manual.Can I reuse the TheraBath paraffin?
We suggest that you not reuse the paraffin removed from your skin because it contains material that will eventually form a sediment on the bottom of the unit. Also, if you reuse the paraffin, you will have to clean your Therabath more often.Does the TheraBath have an on/off switch?
Because of the time it takes to safely melt paraffin, there is no on/off switch on the bath. Think of your Therabath as a refrigerator, except in reverse. Just as you leave your refrigerator on and ready to use, leave your Therabath on too! Because the Therabath is well constructed and has extra insulation, it is very economical and safe to operate and costs only pennies per day.Does the Therabath have a temperature-setting dial?
No, the Therabath operates automatically at a medically prescribed temperature.
Temperature-setting dials on paraffin baths really don't help you to use your bath any faster. The paraffin may melt faster, but it may be too hot to use for several hours (it actually has to cool down first!).How can I make the paraffin melt faster?
Why does the TheraBath have a grille?
- 1) Before melting the paraffin, put the grille on TOP of the unmelted paraffin (as instructed in the manual)
- 2) Leave the lid on to keep the heat in
- 3) After about four hours, if the paraffin hasn't melted, stir the paraffin as much as possible, and then stir it again an hour or two after that
The grille mainly hides particles that may collect on the bottom.===============FAQ About The NEW THERABATH PROFESSIONAL THERMOTHERAPY PARAFFIN BATH --Is this new unit the same quality as the old Therabath?
Yes. The Therabath Model TB6 carries all of the same safety ratings and is made to the same FDA Class II Medical Device standards. Therabath units are made in the USA and WR Medical follows ISO quality ratings as well.Why is the NEW THERABATH PROFESSIONAL THERMOTHERAPY PARAFFIN BATH deeper than the old model? What does this do for me?
The Therabath Paraffin bath is made primarily for Thermotherapy, or heat therapy. The deeper tank (up to 25% deeper than previous models) allows for patients or users to immerse the hand or foot farther in to the wax and cover a larger area of the body. This allows for a larger area to receive the heat therapy. If therapy is not your reason for using the Therabath then the benefit is more applications (up to 15% more) before having to refill the unit.This looks like a professional unit; is it for home use too?
Yes. The Therabath was originally designed for portability for patients who were receiving treatments in the physical therapy or doctors office. Though the unit has all of the safety features needed for hospital use, this also makes it the safest unit to have in your home.Will the new anodized aluminum tank need to be cleaned often?
Cleaning your Therabath unit is determined by your environment and care when cleaning and preparing the area being immersed in the wax. The aluminum tank will not require more frequent cleaning than previous models. Strong chemicals or cleaning agents are unnecessary and should not be used at any time.Why does the green (red for 220V units) light go on and off?
The Therabath unit cycles on approximately 8 - 10 times per hour for a short period of time each cycle. This is normal operation and does not indicate that the unit is not working properly. If the wax, after 8-10 hours, is not completely melted then this may indicate a problem with your unit.Does the Therabath have an on/off switch, temperature dial or quick-melt cycle?
No. To safely melt the paraffin, the Therabath will never run in a temperature range that is dangerous or that could burn the user. Because of the time it takes to safely melt paraffin, there is no on/off switch on the bath. Think of your Therabath as a refrigerator - just as you leave your refrigerator on and ready to use, leave your Therabath on too! In fact the Therabath is safer to run than your refrigerator!
Temperature-setting dials may allow the paraffin to physically melt faster, but it may be too hot to use for several hours (it actually has to cool down first!). Units that we have tested have gotten over 165 degrees F (140 degrees would likely burn and so this temperature is very dangerous). The Therabath never reaches above the average running temperature range of 128 to 132 degrees F.=======================How long will 6 pounds (2.72 kg) of paraffin last?
Six pounds of paraffin provides approximately 42 manicures (both hands) or 32 pedicures (both feet), assuming three dips per hand or foot. (Remember to keep the paraffin amount in between the level lines.)Can I add essential oils to paraffin?
Yes, only one to two drops of natural oil-based products, such as h Essential Oils. Do not add water-based products.Are paraffin treatments sanitary?
Yes, paraffin treatments are proven safe and sanitary when performed according to manufacturer’s suggested guidelines. No documented instances of cross-contamination due to communal use of paraffin baths have been reported. Therabath paraffin is maintained at 130 degrees F and contains no water, so it is a very hostile environment for pathogens to survive. And when you dip, an instant barrier is formed between the skin and paraffin, so what is on your skin (including germs, dirt, etc) stays on your skin.Does paraffin remove hair?
Important Hygiene Instructions for Public Use of a Paraffin Bath (see also our hygiene page)
- Thoroughly wash and dry the skin before applying paraffin.
- Spray the skin with Therabath Sanitizing Spray. (Do not use the spray near the eyes, nose, or mouth.)
- Follow all paraffin application instructions.
- Discard used paraffin. Do not remelt used paraffin.
- Except for personal units, use separate units for hands and feet.
- Always place the cover on the TherabathPRO or Spa Peite when it is not in use.
- Clean your paraffin bath after every 25 treatments, when paraffin is cloudy, or when sediment accumulates on the bottom of the unit.
For All Paraffin Wax Treatments
For Chronic Arthritis Joint Pain, Relaxed Muscles, and Increased Circulation
- Thoroughly wash and dry the area to be treated. Remove jewelry. Make sure clothing is well out of the way of treatment area.
- If desired, test the temperature of the bath. The internal thermostat of the TherabathPRO unit ensures that the bath is kept at a safe, medically prescribed temperature and that the paraffin will not be too hot. To test the temperature, dab a small amount on the inside of your wrist. The paraffin will feel warm, but it will not burn. Adjust the variable temperature control on the Spa Petite to a temperature that is comfortable for you.
- Discard used paraffin.
For Very Dry, Cracked Skin
- Maximize the heat benefit by applying more layers of paraffin. The more layers of paraffin applied, the longer the heat will last. For maximum effect, we recommend 10 to 15 layers.
- long the treatment by using the plastic liners and insulated mitts and boots (for hands and feet), or plastic and an insulated wrap (for other areas).
For Salon Manicures and Pedicures
- Prior to applying the paraffin, apply a light coat of nongreasy Therabath Intensive Hydrating Cream. Rub extra lotion into cuticles and dry patches. If desired, apply additional lotion after the paraffin treatment too.
- Apply at least five layers of paraffin.
- Enhance the softening effects of the paraffin by using the plastic liners and insulated mitts and boots, helping to increase circulation to the skin and absorb additional moisture from the lotion.
For Use in Therapeutic Massage
- If using paraffin as part of a full manicure or pedicure, remove old polish, shape and repair nails, and apply acrylic nails prior to the paraffin treatment.
- Use exfoliating scrubs prior to paraffin treatment. Wash and dry area thoroughly.
For Use Prior to Exercise or Physical Therapy and to Increase Range of Motion
- 1. Paraffin treatments on clients’ hands, feet, elbows, etc., are a beneficial addition to any type of therapeutic massage.
- 2. Paraffin can be used by the practitioner to warm hands prior to viding massage services, and afterwards to ease stiff, tired hands and to relieve dryness from repeated hand-washing.
For Tired, Work-weary Hands
- Follow the suggestions for relief from chronic joint pain, etc.
General Suggestions for Easier Treatments
- Follow the suggestions for relief from chronic joint pain and relief from dry skin.
- 1. The more layers of paraffin built up, the easier it is to remove the paraffin.
- 2. If the area to be treated has a lot of hair, build up additional layers of paraffin. (Paraffin will not remove hair.)
- 3. Dip to the same level each time (in other words, immerse to the same point with each dip) so that an even amount of paraffin covers the area to be treated and there is a thick edge to grasp when removing the paraffin.
- 4. To build up thicker layers, wait a few seconds (until the shine goes away) in between dips. Try not to flex your fingers or break the “glove” of paraffin in between dips.
- 5. Allow the paraffin to remain in place for at least 10 to 15 minutes. (The more layers, the longer the heat lasts.) An insulated mitt or boot will cause the heat to last even longer.
- 6. Before applying paraffin with a brush, preheat the brush by letting it sit in the Therabath for five minutes.
- 7. Use Therabath brand paraffin because it is a high grade of paraffin that is specially formulated for precise melt point, cleanliness, and ease of use.
Are Therabath Paraffin Treatments Sanitary?
- WR Medical Electronics has sold paraffin units and refill paraffin since 1962 and paraffin therapy has been used in hospitals and clinics for over 90 years. In the 90+ years that traditionally performed paraffin therapy treatments have been administered in hospitals, clinics, spas, and salons worldwide, no complaints of cross-contamination have been logged with the FDA.
- Therabath paraffin contains no water and is maintained at 130 degrees (54 degrees C). High temperature and lack of water make a hostile environment for survival of pathogens. A 1996 study by Oregon State University where Therabath paraffin was inoculated with bacteria and fungi concluded “it appears that bacteria and fungi do not survive a long time in paraffin baths”.
- When a hand or foot is immersed into melted paraffin, it is instantaneously coated with a layer of solidified paraffin, so what is on the skin stays on the skin. This instant barrier is formed because human skin is 22 degrees cooler than the melting point of the paraffin, and is maintained at or near that temperature by circulated blood, so the paraffin congeals as soon as it touches the skin. Because the barrier forms immediately, germs and dirt on the skin are instantly encapsulated and unable to contaminate the remaining paraffin in the bath during the initial or subsequent immersions, as confirmed by a 2007 lab study performed by R-Tech Laboratories. Additionally, R-Tech performed a “worst case scenario” study where used paraffin was returned to the bath. The results of the “worst case scenario” test support the results of a 1986 University of Minnesota study. For best results, always follow instructions for use that state used paraffin should be discarded.
The demonstration shown below, using blue dye to replicate water based contaminants, illustrates how during a paraffin treatment, what is on your skin stays on your skin:
A clean finger dipped in dye and then immersed in water.
You can see how quickly the dye disperses. Stir it, and the dye and water become fully blended.
A clean finger dipped in dye and then immersed in Therabath paraffin.
The finger is instantaneously encapsulated with solidified paraffin so none of the dye disperses into the remaining paraffin.
No matter how quickly you dip, an instant barrier is formed. Even if you stir it, the paraffin glove will not re-melt exposing the dye.
This demonstration illustrates that the contaminant (blue dye) does not disperse into the paraffin bath.PARAFFIN BATH ACCESSORIES
Including Hand, Foot & Face Comfort Kits, Paraffin Wax Refills, & The Top Rated TheraBath Thermotherapy Paraffin Wax Bath