Coconut Oil For Psoriasis: Benefits, Uses, and Tips

If you’ve dealt with the visible and irritating signs of psoriasis, you know the hunt for relief is real. Guess what? An easy, natural fix might be just what you need. Coconut oil stands out as a great option. This oil can help calm your skin and bring some comfort you’ve been looking for.

Coconut oil comes from the coconut’s white meat. There are two types: refined and unrefined (or virgin).1 Refined coconut oil goes through high heat processing, which removes some of its natural benefits. On the other hand, virgin coconut oil keeps more of its natural goodness and is preferred. This form is packed with properties that fight germs, moisture skin, reduce inflammation, and are anti-fungal. It’s believed to ease psoriasis symptoms the most.1

Key Takeaways

  • Coconut oil, especially in its virgin, unrefined form, has gained attention as a natural remedy for psoriasis.
  • Coconut oil’s moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties may help soothe the symptoms of psoriasis.
  • While coconut oil is not a cure for psoriasis, it can be a useful complementary treatment to help manage the condition.
  • Coconut oil can be particularly helpful in treating scalp psoriasis, as it can soften and loosen the hard scales associated with the condition.
  • Incorporating coconut oil into your psoriasis management routine requires consistency and patience, as it may not work for everyone.

What is Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil comes from the white part of the coconut. There are two main types: refined and unrefined (virgin) coconut oil.2

Refined vs. Unrefined Coconut Oil

Refined coconut oil is treated with high heat. This removes some coconut taste and smell. On the other hand, virgin coconut oil is processed without the high heat. This keeps more of its natural goodness.2

Virgin Coconut Oil: The Most Beneficial Form

Many think virgin coconut oil is the best kind. It keeps more lauric acid. This is a special fat that helps fight off bad stuff and reduces swelling.23 You can use both types for cooking, baking, and taking care of your skin.

How Coconut Oil Can Help With Psoriasis

Coconut oil might be a good natural way to help with psoriasis. It’s known for its ability to calm the skin and fight inflammation.1 The coconut oil’s fatty acids, like lauric acid, work to lower skin inflammation and redness.2

This oil also fights off harmful germs and fungi. This is important because psoriasis can make the skin more prone to infections.2 Though it can’t cure psoriasis, coconut oil brings comfort to the rough, dry patches that come with it.

Moisturizing and Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Coconut oil is great at moisturizing. It soothes the dry, itchy skin many people with psoriasis deal with.1 Plus, it fights the swelling and redness, making it feel better.2

The soothing oil does more than add moisture. It also fights inflammation. This all helps to calm the uncomfortable symptoms of psoriasis.

Antimicrobial and Antifungal Effects

Coconut oil doesn’t stop at moisturizing and soothing. It also kills off bad germs and fungi on the skin.2 Since those with psoriasis are more likely to get skin infections, this is really important2. Using coconut oil can keep these infections at bay, managing psoriasis symptoms effectively.

Using Coconut Oil for Scalp Psoriasis

Managing scalp psoriasis is challenging because scales and crusts get stuck in the hair.2 To treat this, apply coconut oil directly on the affected areas. Focus on where you see scales. Massage the oil into your scalp gently.

After that, cover your head with a towel or a shower cap. Let the oil stay on for 30-60 minutes, or overnight.1 This process softens the scales, making them easier to remove.

Step-by-Step Guide for Application

Use a mild shampoo when washing your hair. Apply it gently and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.1 When your hair is damp, carefully comb through. This helps remove the scales. Avoid tugging to prevent skin damage and irritation.2

Gently Removing Scales and Crusts

Applying coconut oil correctly helps in gently removing scales. This reduces the risk of skin injury and hair loss.1 Coconut oil softens and loosens hard scales on the scalp with psoriasis.1 It is best to leave the oil on your scalp for 30 to 60 minutes, or overnight. Then, wash with anti-dandruff shampoo.

Coconut Oil For Psoriasis: Benefits, Uses, and Tips

Coconut oil can be great for those with psoriasis. It moisturizes and soothes dry patches.1 Its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects also reduce redness and fight skin infections.1 You can use it alone or with other remedies. Always check with a doctor if it’s okay with your treatments.1

Coconut oil is mostly saturated fat, more than butter or lard.3 Yet, it boosts good cholesterol while not raising the bad kind.3 Its special fatty acids are good for your skin too.3

Many with psoriasis get it on their scalp.2 Coconut oil has lauric acid, which fights inflammation and bad bugs.2 Putting it on your scalp for 30 minutes after a shower might help remove scales.2 But, watch out for allergies.2

But, coconut oil doesn’t cure psoriasis on its own.1 It can help as an extra treatment, not the main one.1 Using it along with your doctor’s advice might make things better.1

Coconut oil benefits for skin

Complementing Conventional Treatments

Coconut oil can help ease psoriasis symptoms, but it’s not a cure by itself.1 Doctors often suggest using it with other psoriasis treatments. This way, the skin might absorb some medications, like steroids, better. Combining coconut oil with other treatments helps manage psoriasis more effectively. This can lead to better results for those dealing with the condition.

Coconut Oil as an Adjunct Therapy

3 Study on coconut oil’s direct benefits for psoriasis is still quite scarce. Yet, it is generally safe to use as a moisturizing aid. Alongside coconut oil, some other alternative treatments like aloe vera and fish oil might work well. Also, taking sunlight can slow down skin cell growth, easing the symptoms.

3 Always talk with your doctor before trying these alternatives. This way, you’ll make sure they mix well with your regular medications. Finding the best mix of treatments often involves some trial and error.

Coconut oil and psoriasis

Other Natural Remedies for Psoriasis

Other than coconut oil, some natural remedies could help ease psoriasis symptoms. Aloe vera and propolis, a product made by bees, have proven helpful in studies.3

Adding certain fatty acids like fish oil and probiotics might balance the immune system. This could reduce inflammation.3

Sunlight, with its UV light, is known to slow skin cell growth. This can make psoriasis symptoms better.3

Bathing in oatmeal or Epsom salts is also said to calm the skin. Although not all are backed by strong evidence, these options might be good to try for dealing with psoriasis.

Aloe Vera and Propolis

In some studies, aloe vera and propolis have shown they could help with psoriasis. Using both may make psoriasis spots look better, offering an extra way to manage the condition.3

Fish Oil and Probiotics

Fish oil and probiotics can help keep the immune system in check. They lessen the inflammation linked to psoriasis.

These remedies work on the root problems of psoriasis. They give all-around help for those dealing with the disease.3

Sunlight Exposure and Oatmeal Baths

Light from the sun, with its UV, helps slow down skin cell overgrowth. This improves psoriasis symptoms.

Bathing in oatmeal or Epsom salts can also soothe the skin. Even if the science is not strong, these methods could help in a full psoriasis care plan.

natural psoriasis treatments

Potential Risks and Side Effects

Coconut oil is usually safe but has some risks. Some might get allergies like redness, itchiness, or warmth where it’s used.2 Also, it might affect psoriasis medications. You should ask your doctor before using it.2 Watch how your skin reacts and stop using if you see any bad changes.

Allergic Reactions

Coconut oil might cause allergic reactions in some. They may see redness, feel itchy, or get a warm feeling where they used it.2 If this happens, stop and see your doctor.

Interference with Medications

It might not be safe to use coconut oil with some psoriasis medicines. Ask your doctor first.2 They will tell you if it’s ok and watch for any problems.

Potential Risks and Side Effects of Coconut Oil for Psoriasis
Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may experience redness, itching, or warmth at the application site.2
Medication Interactions: Coconut oil may interfere with certain psoriasis medications, so it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider.2
Ineffectiveness as a Standalone Treatment: Coconut oil may provide temporary relief but may not be a sufficient standalone treatment for psoriasis.2
Potential to Worsen Symptoms: Discontinue use if coconut oil appears to be worsening your psoriasis condition.

Know the risks and side effects before using coconut oil for psoriasis. Always check with your doctor before trying it or any other treatments.

Scientific Evidence and Research

Scientific research on using coconut oil for psoriasis is limited. But what we have suggests it might help, especially as a supportive treatment. Coconut oil has fatty acids and helps fight off microbes. This can reduce swelling and boost skin moisture.4

Yet, much of what we know about coconut oil’s psoriasis benefits comes from personal stories. We need more clinical trials to be sure about its usefulness. Still, it seems coconut oil is safe and could be useful in managing psoriasis.

StatisticSource
Coconut oil is over 80 percent saturated fat.4
A 2015 analysis proposed that many benefits tied to coconut oil are directly linked to lauric acid.4
A 2013 study found that adding virgin coconut oil to skin lotion increased hydration and skin elasticity.4
Lauric acid has antibacterial properties and can effectively combat acne.4
A 2009 study revealed that lauric acid reduced inflammation and the number of acne-causing bacteria, performing better than benzoyl peroxide.4
Lauric acid is sent directly to the liver for conversion to energy rather than storage as fat, making it contribute the least to fat storage compared to other saturated fats.4
A study by Intahphuak et al. in 2010 reported that virgin coconut oil (VCO) demonstrates anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities.5
Nevin and Rajamohan in 2010 found that topical application of VCO on skin components during dermal wound healing in rats significantly improved antioxidant status.5
Verallo-Rowell et al. in 2008 highlighted the antibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils on adult atopic dermatitis.5
A randomized controlled trial by Agero and Verallo-Rowell in 2004 compared extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil and concluded that VCO was a more effective moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis.5
Another study conducted by Winarsi and Purwanto in 2008 explored VCO enriched with Zn as an immunostimulator for vaginal candidiasis patients, showcasing the multiple benefits of VCO in different applications.5
Louie et al. in 1994 demonstrated that tumor necrosis factor-alpha plays a protective role in a murine model of systemic candidiasis, shedding light on the complex interactions of cytokines in the immune system.5

research on coconut oil and psoriasis

Incorporating Coconut Oil into Your Routine

Want to use coconut oil for your psoriasis? Here are some important points. Apply the oil to the areas that have psoriasis. Gently massage it into your skin.6 Coconut oil is great for your skin. It makes your skin stronger against damage. It also fights inflammation and bacteria. Plus, it’s a good moisturizer.6 For scalp psoriasis, keep the oil on for 30-60 minutes. Or, you can leave it on overnight. Then, wash it off.

Tips for Best Results

Using coconut oil regularly is key. It’s most useful when you use it often.7 You can find coconut oil in many grocery stores. Look for virgin coconut oil. It has more vitamins and antioxidants than refined coconut oil.7 You can even make a face mask with coconut oil. Add turmeric, lemon juice, and raw manuka honey. This mask is great for your skin.6

Consistency and Patience

Keep in mind, coconut oil isn’t a psoriasis cure. It might not help everyone.7 The oil is good for keeping your skin hydrated. It works well on dry parts like elbows and legs. But, it can clog your facial pores.7 Be patient. See how your skin reacts to the oil. You might need to use it along with other treatments from your doctor.

Conclusion

Coconut oil is showing promise as a natural help for people with psoriasis. It has qualities that moisturize, reduce inflammation, and fight against microbes. These can make the skin patches less dry and scaly.8 It’s important to know that coconut oil won’t cure psoriasis. But, it might be a good addition to your treatment plan when used with other doctor-recommended methods.9

Making coconut oil a part of your psoriasis care should involve regular use and watching how your skin reacts.8 Talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe to use with your current medications or treatments.9 Although there’s not a lot of hard evidence, many people and some studies think coconut oil could be helpful for psoriasis.10

Using coconut oil as a boost to your treatment plan might offer some comfort for your skin. Make sure your doctor is on board with this as part of your care.89 With regular use and staying in touch with your healthcare team, coconut oil could play a role in making your skin and life better.

FAQ

What is coconut oil and how does it differ from other forms of coconut oil?

The white, fleshy part of the coconut gives us coconut oil. There are two types: refined and unrefined (virgin). Virgin coconut oil is better because it keeps more natural benefits. It’s made without high heat.

How can coconut oil help with psoriasis?

Coconut oil is great for psoriasis because it’s moistening and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can help calm the red, scaly skin patches. It’s not a cure, but it can make a big difference in managing psoriasis.

Can coconut oil help with scalp psoriasis?

Indeed, coconut oil can do wonders for scalp psoriasis. Just apply it directly to the scalp, focusing on the scaly spots. Then, gently massage it in. Let it sit for up to 60 minutes or even overnight. Finally, wash it out.

Are there any potential risks or side effects when using coconut oil for psoriasis?

Coconut oil is generally safe, but some might be allergic. This can cause redness, itching, or a warm feeling where you put it. It might not mix well with some psoriasis medications. So, talking to a doctor before using it is a good idea.

What is the scientific evidence on the use of coconut oil for psoriasis?

Scientific evidence on coconut oil for psoriasis is still growing. But, what we know so far is promising. It suggests coconut oil could help, mainly as part of a treatment plan. It’s thought to work because it’s rich in fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory effects. Also, its antimicrobial properties can improve skin moisture.

How can I incorporate coconut oil into my psoriasis management routine?

Apply coconut oil by directly massaging it into the affected skin areas. For scalp psoriasis, leave it on for up to 60 minutes or overnight. Then wash it out. Use coconut oil regularly for best results. But remember, while it can help a lot, it’s not a psoriasis cure and may not work for everyone.

Source Links

  1. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/psoriasis-coconut-oil
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/psoriasis/coconut-oil
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314465
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/what-is-lauric-acid
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6335493/
  6. https://www.prevention.com/beauty/a20428276/coconut-oil-cures-for-your-skin-and-hair/
  7. https://www.self.com/story/coconut-oil-for-skin
  8. https://www.timgrigsby.co.uk/is-virgin-coconut-oil-good-for-psoriasis/
  9. https://swastibotanicals.com/coconut-oil-and-psoriasis/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8362305/

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