Glycerin, also known as vegetable glycerin or glycerol, is commonly used as topical medication for various skin conditions, including eczema, xerosis and keratosis, states Health Central. Glycerin is also used as a food additive and substitute for alcohol in herbal infusions.
Glycerin is a clear, odorless liquid extracted from botanical oils, such as palm oil, coconut oil or soy, explains Global Healing Center. Glycerin used in the food industry meets purity qualifications set by the United States Pharmacopeia. This substance is usually added to low-carbohydrate food products for its moisture and sweet taste.
As a topical medication, glycerin provides relief from dry, rough, flaky and scratchy skin, notes WebMD. It is also applied on mild skin inflammation, including diaper rash and burns received from radiation therapy. Glycerin is also a common ingredient in most suppositories.