Coconut is more than just a delicious fruit. In fact, the member of the palm tree family offers a multitude of health benefits when taken internally or used topically on the skin. For this reason, many people who suffer from eczema, are turning towards this natural remedy to alleviate uncomfortable symptoms such as dryness and itchiness.
Read on to discover how coconut oil can help eczema and why more and more sufferers are attempting to find relief through this natural moisturizer.
Please keep in mind that although these tips and information have worked for several sufferers, we are in no way medical professionals. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms or have a topical infection, it is always best to seek medical advice immediately.
Coconut Oil and Eczema
Eczema is a chronic skin condition marked by redness, itchiness, and scaly patches that may ooze, crust or bleed. Symptoms vary from mild to severe — potentially even disappearing for a period of time and then returning as severe flare-ups.
Thanks to a damaged skin barrier that makes it difficult to retain moisture, a key factor defining eczema-prone skin is dryness. Coconut, on the other hand, has supreme hydrating qualities, making it perfect for countering the drying effects of eczema.
Unfortunately, while coconut oil cannot fully ‘cure’ eczema, it does have the ability to effectively soothe skin, manage irritation, and significantly reduce the risk of infection.
Why Is Coconut Oil Good for Eczema?
Coconut oil has the natural ability to quickly penetrate the skin. This allows it to efficiently boost hydration, improve skin elasticity, and fight any itchiness.
Because it is rich in lauric acid, a healthful fatty acid that is also found in breast milk, coconut oil helps reduce the presence of bacteria, fungi, and viruses on the skin. This makes it particularly helpful at reducing the risk of infection, especially if intense scratching causes the skin to crack or bleed.
Finally, coconut oil is praised for its anti-inflammatory properties, making it extremely useful in treating an inflammatory skin condition like eczema.
How to use Coconut Oil for Eczema
There are a number of ways to use coconut oil for eczema. To start with, you can choose to apply coconut oil directly to the skin.
It is widely available and can be found in most grocery stores - just make sure you're opting for a cold-pressed and unrefined or pressed coconut oil. Similarly to other natural ingredients, coconut oils are not all made the same and there are a variety of brands that continue to add preservatives and artificial ingredients.
It works best when applied to slightly damp skin at least twice daily. Apply sparingly onto your eyelids to avoid any getting in your eyes. For maximum absorption, wear overnight.
We also recommend trying a coconut oil bath.
Simply heat up the coconut oil in a pot or in the microwave to melt it down into a liquid, and then add it to your lukewarm bath water. Don’t bathe with hot water as hot water tends to exacerbate eczema symptoms. Soak for a minimum of 15 minutes. You can also try this Conqueror Oatmeal Bath for Eczema. Containing dead sea salt, vitamin C, coconut milk powder, and sodium bicarbonate, it also has the power to detoxify, hydrate, and provide regenerative benefits to dry skin.
For other helpful bath options, check out 5 Alternatives to Eczema Bleach Baths.
After your bath, you'll want to rehydrate and moisturize skin. This Conqueror Soothing Eczema Balm is made with coconut oil, aloe vera, shea butter, and beeswax, and works great for treating dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, burns, or even stretch marks.
This Calendula Facial Cream is also a wonderful option for soothing red, itchy skin. Not only is it made with aloe juice and coconut oil, but it contains DMAE - a natural anti-inflammatory compound that also provides anti-aging benefits.
Remember, eczema is unique to every individual. While coconut oil may work for some people, it may not work for everyone — including you. Bear in mind that since not everyone experiences the same trigger, it’s possible that coconut oil may exacerbate your symptoms if you happen to be allergic to it. For this reason, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider before trying a new product on your skin.
Bio: Laura is a contributor and content developer for The Eczema Company. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes.