1107 GMT May 22, 2018
Chris Bell, a watch commander with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said the creams — used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis — are safe to use, telegraph.co.uk reported.
But he warned they can become flammable when they soak into fabrics, clothing, bandages and dressings, then come into contact with a cigarette, naked flame or other heat source.
He said, "Hundreds of thousands of people use them, we're not sure how many fire deaths might have occurred but it could be into the hundreds.”
His comments come after an investigation by BBC five live Investigates and Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire found only seven of 38 products containing paraffin that are licensed in the UK carry warnings on their packaging.
Bell said, "People are using paraffin-based skin products to treat eczema and psoriasis and various other skin creams, putting it all over their bodies and different parts of themselves — treating themselves for those different skin conditions.
"But unfortunately, that cream can get into fabrics, clothing, bandages and dressings, and become flammable.
"The creams are safe to use in their own right, but if that person is exposed to a naked flame or some other heat source, they can go up."
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency advised patients using paraffin-based products not to smoke, use naked flames, or go near anything that may cause a fire while creams are in contact with dressings or clothing.
Its advice stated: "Patients' clothing and bedding should be changed regularly — preferably daily — because emollients soak into fabric and can become a fire hazard."