Petroleum jelly plays an important role in wound care, in minor and major injuries.
As long as they're kept clean, minor cuts and scrapes generally heal just fine without treatment, but petroleum jelly or an antibacterial ointment can help speed things up and possibly prevent or minimize scarring.
When it comes to larger wounds, keeping the moisture level similar to that of healthy skin gives the skin its best chances of healing. Clinical studies have found that when wounds are kept moist they heal more quickly than those exposed to the air, which has a drying effect. Moisture also decreases inflammation and minimizes infection rates. This idea is called moist wound healing, and can be as simple as keeping a wound clean, covered with petroleum jelly and bandage.