Benefits of Coconut Oil for Eczema
Lately it seems that coconut oil can be used for anything: cooking, skin care, dental hygiene, hair care, etc. People with eczema often point to coconut oil as a way to relieve and soothe eczema. This is because coconut oil can be used as a moisturizer, as a way to promote wound healing, and as a way to reduce inflammation and pain.
Coconut Oil as a Moisturizer
Coconut oil can be used to help hydrate your skin. Especially the skin of those with scaly and itchy rashes caused by eczema. Keeping your skin hydrated is a great way to maintain your skin’s function as a barrier to keeping bacteria out.
One study says that coconut oil is as effective and safe as mineral oil when used as a moisturizer.
Another study came to a similar conclusion: children with mild to moderate atopic dermatitis found success with topical virgin coconut oil that was superior to that of the mineral oil.
Coconut Oil and Wound Healing
This study found that wounds treated with virgin coconut oil healed much faster than wounds treated without it. There was also an increase in pepsin-soluble collagen in the wounds treated with virgin coconut oil.
According to this study and the USDA database, coconut oil is made up of 90% saturated fat and contains mostly medium train triglycerides with 86.5% saturated fatty acids, 5.8% monounsaturated fatty acids, and 1.8% polyunsaturated fatty acids. They also found that coconut oil is made of seven different saturated fatty acids, but it mostly consists of lauric acid (44.6%), myristic acid (16.8%), and palmitic acid (8.2%). Oleic acid is coconut oil’s only monounsaturated fatty acid and linoleic acid is its only polyunsaturated fatty acid.
One study found that lauric acid, which is the primary saturated fatty acid in coconut oil, can kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
Coconut Oil for Inflammation and Pain Reduction
This animal study found that virgin coconut oil reduced fever, inflammation, and pain in rats with ear edema.
Is coconut oil for everyone?
Nope! Coconut oil is NOT for everyone. Especially if you have a tree nut allergy! The FDA classifies coconut as a tree nut. Not everyone that has a tree nut allergy has a reaction to coconut, but it is worth speaking to your doctor about! Other people are allergic or sensitive to coconut and this could obviously exacerbate skin issues like eczema.
Regardless, if you or your little eczema warrior are reacting poorly to coconut oil treatments, you should speak to a medical professional to see if there is an underlying allergy or food sensitivity!
What kind of coconut oil should you use?
When you’re in the store or shopping online, you’ll notice that there is a boatload of different types of coconut oil. Make sure that you choose an organic extra virgin coconut oil that has been unrefined and cold-pressed or pressed.
How to Use Coconut Oil for Eczema
You don’t need to topically apply more than a few tablespoons of coconut oil per day for it to be an effective treatment for eczema symptoms.
You can either apply a thin coating of coconut oil to the affected area 1-2 times/day or you can add a thicker coating of coconut oil to a bandage and wrap it around the affected skin. This depends on the severity of symptoms and your preferences!