Coconut oil has amazing health benefits. It is a celebrated superfood because of its nutritional and therapeutic values. You will be happy to know that coconut oil works quite well for psoriasis treatment.
This organic oil is a well known natural remedy for a variety of skin diseases. You will find that most natural skincare products have coconut oil as a prominent ingredient in their formulation. Coconut oil contains mostly saturated fats (healthy medium-chain triglycerides), so it acts as an emollient providing a softening and soothing effect. It can heal small wounds and inflammation on the skin caused by acne, pimples, eczema, psoriasis warts, and many more. It soothes itchiness and dryness caused by dermatitis and psoriasis (1,2,3).
Virgin coconut oil also has good dietary benefits which include improved metabolism, cholesterol balance, and weight loss. It is the best cooking oil; the medium-chain fatty acids in it healthy unlike the other saturated fats (4,5).
You can certainly find several good treatments for psoriasis like Biologics, Systemic medications, Phototherapy, Oral and Topical Treatments, Complementary and alternative medicines. When it comes to topical and alternative treatments, coconut oil is one of the best choices for getting rid of psoriasis (6,7).
You will find a lot of articles written on coconut oil and psoriasis. That’s just to say how popular this oil is. In this article, we are going to analyze the pros and cons of coconut oil treatment for psoriasis.
The Psoriasis Overview
Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales. These patches can appear anywhere on the body but mostly appear on the scalp, knees, elbows, and lower back (8,9).
Psoriasis is not a life-threatening disease. However, several patients find it mentally difficult and unhappy to live with patches of psoriasis on prominently visible parts of the body like the face and scalp. To make things worse, in some cases the patches can be badly itchy and sore.
Contrary to what most people think, psoriasis is NOT just a skin condition. This skin disease has its beginning underneath the skin. It is, in fact, a disease that affects the immune system.
Most psoriasis patients have mild attacks of psoriasis restricted to a particular area of the skin, but in severe cases, the patches will be spread over to several parts of the skin.
There is a wide range of treatments for psoriasis to choose from.
The most commonly used treatment for a mild form of psoriasis is the topical application of creams and oils which include coconut oil. The psoriasis treatment with coconut oil is NOT a standalone treatment but an additional natural aid for containing the itching and inflammation caused by the pathogens.
These three steps included in standard psoriasis treatment:
- Reduce plaque formation and inflammation by suppressing the growth of skin cells in the affected area,
- Use treatments that help in removing scales and smoothen the skin;
- Eliminate the pathogens that cause psoriasis and restore the skin to normalcy
Mild forms of psoriasis are curable with topical and oral treatments; however, severe cases may require light therapy and systemic medications.
Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Psoriasis Treatment
Coconut oil has several health benefits. We are not going to enumerate all those benefits here. We shall concentrate exclusively on its therapeutic qualities beneficial for healing skin infections like psoriasis.
Moisturizes And Soothes Skin
In the past, coconut oil had been belittled by many critics for the saturated fats in it. However, recent studies have shown that coconut oil does not block the skin pores or add uncomfortable greasiness on the skin, unlike the other oils. It is the best oil for moisturizing and protecting skin from dryness and dirt (10).
Nourishes The Skin
Coconut oil contains essential proteins and nutrients required for the rejuvenation of the skin. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil penetrate deep into the skin tissues and nourish the skin from within.
Contains Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Virgin coconut oil contains anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce skin inflammation like one caused by psoriasis (11).
The monoglyceride contained in virgin coconut oil is exceptionally beneficial for fighting common infections, especially those happening on the skin. The antiseptic quality of monoglyceride can resist the attacks of fungal and viral infections to a great extent.
This oil helps in improving the overall immune system of the person. The MCFAs in virgin coconut oil (lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid) helps in restricting the growth and malicious activities of hostile bacteria, fungi, and viruses. It is also useful for greater absorption of essential minerals and vitamins from the foods we eat (12,13).
How Does It Work?
The topical application of coconut oil brings immense benefit to the skin and scalp. And many of those benefits from this oil are exactly suitable for alleviating the symptoms of psoriasis.
The skin flakes resulting from psoriasis infection on the scalp can become thick and dry. It really requires a good moisturizing oil like coconut oil to shake off and prevent such flakes. The exceptional moisturizing quality of coconut oil reduces the dry flakes on the skin caused by psoriasis.
The scent of medicated moisturizing creams is unbearable to most people but the coconut oil’s pleasant and sweet smell is comfortable for most people. Being an entirely natural moisturizer, this oil doesn’t cause any skin irritation or adverse effects, unlike the ointments.
Having moderate exposure to sunlight on psoriasis affected areas is good. However, the psoriasis problem gets worse when exposed to UV rays of the sun for too long time. Topical application of coconut oil on psoriasis affected areas protects the skin from the UV rays of the skin like OTC sunscreen lotion.
The anti-inflammatory properties in coconut oil help to reduce the sores and itching which usually happen with severe psoriasis.
The protein and other nutrients in coconut oil help to reconstruct the skin tissues damaged through psoriasis infection.
Methods of Using
Using coconut oil for psoriasis control is an easy and uncomplicated process. Just by using this oil regularly and correctly, you can certainly achieve beneficial results from this treatment.
Of course, you should always be using only extra virgin coconut oil for skincare. Make sure that you choose good quality oil from reputed brands to be assured of oil’s purity.
Remember that coconut oil is not a complete remedy for psoriasis but only an additional boost to your regular treatments. So you must continue with the prescription medicines and diets
You can get the therapeutic benefits of coconut oil by consuming or directly applying the oil to the affected area of the skin.
For consuming coconut oil you can either use it as the cooking oil or eat it directly. It is healthy to have two teaspoons of coconut oil daily; probably one before breakfast and one after dinner if you are eating it directly. You can also use coconut oil for dressing the salad or as a tastemaker in smoothies, juices, or coffee.
The topical application of coconut oil on psoriasis affected areas of the skin is beneficial. You can apply this oil 2 times a day, in the morning and before retiring to bed at night. If you require to wash off the oil, then do it only after 30 minutes of applying.
You should apply the oil only after cleansing the affected areas of the skin. This helps in avoiding clogging of dirt and dust; also prevents the possibility of championing the infection.
For psoriasis on the scalp, gently massage the oil on the scalp for 5 minutes. This not only heals psoriasis gradually but also ensures the growth of hair and rejuvenation of scalp tissues.
Before applying the oil, it’s nice to warm up the oil slightly; this helps in faster absorption of oil by the skin tissues.
The Bottom Line
Coconut oil and psoriasis connection are often discussed in skincare forums to pinpoint the effectiveness of coconut oil in curing various skin diseases.
Several psoriasis patients in the past also have reported beneficial results in controlling the disease by using coconut oil topically and as a dietary supplement. Coconut oil is a viable alternative to regular psoriasis creams which usually have some adverse effects on the skin.
It may not be your primary treatment method to deal with psoriasis; however, this oil can certainly assist greatly in controlling and getting rid of this vexing disease that hurts your skin and beauty. Coconut oil for remedy psoriasis is a fantastic natural method to reduce the harshness of the disease, especially for scalp psoriasis.
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