What Is Lanolin and How Does It Work?

Lanolin is used as a moisturizer to treat or prevent dry, rough, scaly, itchy skin and minor skin irritations (e.g., diaper rash, skin burns from radiation therapy). Emollients are substances that soften and moisturize the skin and decrease itching and flaking.

Dry skin is caused by a loss of water in the upper layer of the skin. Emollients/moisturizers work by forming an oily layer on the top of the skin that traps water in the skin.

Lanolin is available under the following different brand names: Lanaphilic, and Lan-O-Soothe.

Dosages of Lanolin

Adult and Pediatric Dosage Forms and Strengths

Topical ointment

  • 100% lanolin

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

Dry Skin

  • Apply topically to affected skin as needed

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Lanolin?

Most emollients can be used safely and effectively with no side effects.

Side effects of lanolin include:

  • Skin burning, stinging, redness, or irritation
  • Unusual changes in the skin (e.g., turning white/soft/soggy from too much wetness) (rare)
  • Signs of skin infection (rare)

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

What Other Drugs Interact with Lanolin?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first.

  • Lanolin has no known severe, serious, moderate, or mild interactions with other drugs.

This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions, concerns or for more information about this medicine.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Lanolin?


This medication contains lanolin. Do not take Lanaphilic or Lan-O-Soothe if you are allergic to lanolin or any ingredients contained in this drug.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.


  • Hypersensitivity

Effects of Drug Abuse

  • No information available

Short-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Lanolin?"

Long-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Lanolin?"


  • External use only.
  • Avoid eyes.

Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Use lanolin with caution during pregnancy if benefits outweigh risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies are not available or neither animal nor human studies were done.
  • There is no information available about use of lanolin while breastfeeding.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding patients should seek advice of a health professional before using over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.
Medscape. Lanolin.
WebMD. Lanolin.

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