Is coconut oil good for dermatitis?

Coconut oil and eczema

Although it’s not a cure-all, coconut oil can effectively reduce eczema symptoms by soothing the skin, easing irritation, and decreasing the risk of infection. Most people agree that this oil is seemingly a magic elixir for anything that afflicts you. But what about when it comes to dermatitis? Can this delicious smelling oil treat it?

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Coconut oil and eczema

Treating dermatitis with coconut oil

Eczema is a chronic, health condition linked to your immune system and its inflammatory reaction. Ordinary substances like dust, mold, animal dander or certain chemicals, can trigger an allergic response in people with eczema. As a result, you can get inflammation that causes eczema symptoms such as severe dryness and itching, together with red or brown patches that are likely to appear on your hands, wrists, neck, upper chest, eyelids, feet, ankles, and inside the bends of your elbows or knees. You can also have small, raised bumps that itch, then ooze fluid and crust over if you scratch. That scratching can cause tenderness, extra-irritation, and even make you vulnerable to infection if you get any open wounds that can act as gateways to pathogens. You can treat the symptoms of eczema and lessen its appearance on your skin, but the disease itself never goes away completely.  First people with eczema don’t experience symptoms all the time. Instead, they have flares when exposed to triggers like sweat, stress, soaps, detergents, dust, and pollen.

What can coconut oil do for dermatitis?

Many health websites praise coconut oil as a miracle commodity that can do anything from soothing dry, split skin and hair to whitening teeth and freshening breath. And there’s some truth behind all the hype. Since eczema is a problem with the epidermis, it makes sense that people may try to fight it by slathering something like coconut oil over the afflicted areas.Coconut oil has lauric acid, a nutritious fatty acid, also present in breast milk. Lauric acid is utilized to develop monolaurin, which is an antimicrobial agent that combats bacteria, fungi, yeast, viruses, and other pathogenic contaminants. In other words, when you hear people saying coconut oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties useful for treating eczema, they are right. The oil can penetrate the skin fast and efficiently, which boosts hydration, improves skin elasticity, fights itching and lessen the chances of infection.

The science behind coconut oil and eczema

Of all the natural ingredients for treating eczema, coconut oil has the most scientific research to back up its legitimacy. An article published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine found that coconut oil is effective at decreasing the presence of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other pathogenic contaminants.Another study found that coconut oil has anti-inflammatory qualities that help protect the skin. Although many diseases have been addressed in the research behind coconut oil use, there was one study in particular that focused on children with eczema. The results of that study, published in the International Journal of Dermatology, revealed that when virgin coconut oil was applied topically to the skin for eight weeks, it improved skin hydration for kids with eczema.

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Benefits of coconut oil for eczema

It hydrates the skin

Eczema lessens the skin’s capability to become and remain hydrated. A research study published in the International Journal of Dermatology, observed that with the topical use of virgin coconut oil hydration improved in the skin of kids with eczema. As for the claims that the oil is an excellent moisturizer for eczema, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Moisturizers are classified into three groups: humectants (these draw water into your skin), occlusives (these coats your skin and decrease water loss), and emollients (these soften your skin). Oils fall in the occlusive and emollient sections, meaning they will sit on top of your skin and work to stop moisture from escaping, hence coconut oil seems to have moisturizing qualities. But, since oil isn’t a humectant, it doesn’t deliver moisture to your dry skin in the way other humectants do. That means coconut oil would, theoretically, work best when layered on top of a humectant moisturizer that will draw moisture into your skin. Look for eczema-friendly moisturizing products that are meant to moisturize your skin.

It has antibacterial properties

The lauric acid found in the oil helps to decrease bacterial presence, fungi, and pathogens on the skin. This helps to decrease the chance of infection caused by scratching itchy skin. Lauric acid has antimicrobial qualities, making it effective at decreasing any pathogens on the skin. Lauric acid also makes the coconut oil highly absorbable, increasing its moisturizing benefits.

It reduces inflammation and pain

Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory attributes, and it can also help to lessen the discomfort linked with eczema. An animal study, reported in Pharmaceutical Biology, showed that virgin coconut oil reduced fever, inflammation, and pain in rats with ear edema.

The oil lessens oxidative stress

A study in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research showed that antioxidants could help treat atopic dermatitis. A separate study, published in Food and Function, found that the antioxidant traits of virgin coconut oil helped decrease oxidative stress in rats.

How to use coconut oil for atopic dermatitis

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There are some do’s and don’ts you should note before you start using coconut oil for eczema.

  1. First, don’t stop your current medication when you start using it. Let your doctor know you if you want to add coconut oil to your eczema treatment, and ask for guidance on how to progress.
  2. If you’re allergic to coconuts, avoid using coconut oil. Some of those who are allergic to walnuts or hazelnuts can also be allergic to coconuts. This is referred to as cross-reactivity.
  3. Once you’re ready to try coconut oil, choose a high-quality, organic coconut oil that is either cold pressed or virgin. This guarantees that the coconut oil you put on your face was extracted without using chemicals that could irritate your skin. Coconut oil is readily available.
  4. Coconut oil is in a solid at room temperature. To make it easier to put on, take a little bit of oil on your hands and rub them together. Your body heat will liquefy the oil, allowing you to spread it liberally on your skin.
  5. Apply the oil to your skin when it’s still slightly damp at least two times a day. You can apply coconut oil on skin that is exhibiting eczema symptoms, and also between flare-ups. This will help keep it moisturized and decrease the likelihood of inflammation.If you’re using coconut oil for eczema on your eyelids, use it rather sparingly, so it does not get into your eyes. Try using a Q-tip.
  6. Coconut oil is not bad to eyes; it can be beneficial. However, it coats your eyes, which blurs vision. So only apply it at night before sleeping.
  7. For maximum absorption apply coconut oil on your skin overnight.

Risks and complications with the use of coconut oil on eczema

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The use of coconut oil is considered to be safe unless you are allergic to it. However, visit your doctor before using this or any other home remedy for your dermatitis.

Coconut Oil Cream Eczema relieving recipe

The use of coconut oil is considered to be safe unless you are allergic to it. However, visit your doctor before using this or any other home remedy for your dermatitis.

  • Coconut oil has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and antioxidant qualities that can ease the pain and discomfort associated with eczema and treat your skin during these flare-ups.
  • Unrefined Shea butter is packed with vitamins A, E and F. It penetrates the skin, replenishing moisture and aiding in getting rid of the dryness creating the itchy patches.
  • Honey is a natural humectant, which attracts moisture and holds it in the skin. This hydrates the dry skin and reduces itching and inflammation.
  • Tea tree oil has skin-healing qualities, which will help decrease the irritation caused by eczema.

You will need:

  • Coconut oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Pure Shea butter – 1 tablespoon
  • Organic raw honey – 1 tablespoon
  • Lavender essential oil – 5 drops
  • Tea tree essential oil – 1 drop

You will need:

Melt the extra-virgin coconut oil and Shea butter in a double boiler. Remove the melted mixture from the microwave and let it cool off. Add a tablespoon of organic raw honey and stir it in well. Add about 5 drops of lavender essential oil and 1 drop of tea tree oil to it. Whisk or blend the mixture. The mixture will thicken a little, because of the Shea butter.Pour the mix into an airtight jar that can be stored and refrigerated. Use the salve on the dermatitis patches as required. You can store the salve up to 6 months in a cool and dark place.

Coconut and Oatmeal Cream

  • It has an anti-inflammatory quality that soothes the itchiness caused by dry and flaky eczema patches. It is considered to have an antihistamine effect when used on skin affected by eczema. It is also loaded in antioxidants, which helps stop pollutants and free radicals from hurting the skin. It stimulates the generation of the collagen.
  • Using ground oat powder will release and expose the epidermis to its more active components. Oats are high in beta-glucans and starch, which keep moisture in the skin, hydrating it from within. It has phenol compounds that also offer protection from UV rays.
  • Coconut oil is gentle on the epidermis and can be used on babies and adults with sensitive skin. It is unusual for people to be allergic to coconut oil. However, performing a patch test ensures that you’re not allergic to it.

Things you’ll need:

  • Coconut oil ¼ cup
  • 2 tablespoons of pure shea butter
  • 2 tablespoons of ground oats
  • 1 Vitamin E capsule
  • 3 drops of lavender essential oil

Set up the double boiler and put in the ¼ cup of extra-virgin coconut oil. Add in 2 tablespoons of pure Shea butter. Melt the ingredients on the low heat setting. Grind some dry, uncooked oats into a fine powder and add 2 tablespoons gradually into the melted liquids, while stirring to prevent lumps. Let the mix cool to room temperature. Pierce a capsule of vitamin E and squeeze the liquid into the mixture. Add 3 drops of lavender essential oil as well. Whisk everything together then transfer the cream into an airtight container. Store it up to a year in a cool and dark place.

Tips to keep in mind while using coconut oil

  • Pouring essential oils into a hot solution decreases the effect of these oils. Hence, always let the solution cool down before adding in the essential oils.
  • Always refrigerate your salve. This keeps the essential contents from settling at the bottom of the jar, so you get all the benefits of the cream.
  • Before applying a new product always perform a patch test.
  • Use extra-virgin coconut oil and organic raw honey for topical purposes.
  • Don’t use the cream with herbs on children.
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