Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes scaling, redness and inflammation of the skin. It is a chronic disease that is persistent and long-lasting. There may be times of improvement (remission) and at other times, the condition may worsen (flares).
Topical application of creams and ointments containing corticosteroids, vitamin D, retinoids is mostly used to treat the symptoms. There is no cure.
The medications are anti-inflammatory, analgesics and immunosupressants, but they come with their share of side effects. Natural oils and ointments are also considered effective in treatment. They hydrate and moisturize skin and relieve it of scales.
Natural oils and ointments are also considered effective in treatment. They hydrate and moisturize skin and relieve it of scales.
One such widely used oil is Coconut oil. It is used in ointments, creams, soaps, and shampoos for the treatment of chronic inflammatory skin diseases. Clinical trials proved that it is safe and effective in reversing the symptoms of skin disorders like psoriasis.
Topical application of coconut oil provides several benefits to patients of psoriasis. These include reducing inflammation, edema (swelling), erythema (reddening), pain and itching. It also helps in resolving lesions and restoring the normal characteristics of the skin.
Coconut oil is extracted from the white kernel or meat of mature, brown coconuts from coconut palm tree (cocos nucifera). It is high in saturated fats. It is used topically and is also edible. Unrefined coconut oil is available as Virgin coconut oil.
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4 Awesome Benefits of Coconut Oil In Psoriasis
Although there are very few researchers linking coconut oil to psoriasis treatment, it is widely used in medical formulations like creams and lotions aimed at treating psoriasis. The following benefits make it a good alternative medicine in psoriasis patients in place of chemical based medications.
1. Coconut oil heals inflammation in psoriasis
Coconut oil heals inflammation in psoriasisPsoriasis appears with inflammation, redness, swelling, and pain in the affected areas. Inflammation occurs as a result of body’s immune response. This causes immune cells to migrate to affected area for damage repair.
Coconut oil contains various fatty acids like palmitic acid, lauric acid, oleic acid and linoleic acid which have anti-inflammatory action. It also acts as an analgesic agent to treat pain resulting from inflammation.
Studies also show the anti-inflammatory and analgesic nature of virgin coconut oil. It prevents migration of cells responsible for inflammation along with inhibiting the production of TNF-α (Tumor necrosis factor-α) production which is involved in the inflammatory process.
Studies suggest the development of drugs targeted at TNF-α drugs for treating psoriasis. As coconut oil inhibits its production, it can be effectively used to prevent inflammation caused by it.
What does this mean?
Coconut oil is very effective in treating inflammation, swelling and pain arising from psoriasis and also helps in preventing its onset.
2. Coconut oil has anti-microbial properties
Infections may trigger psoriasis and worsen the condition. The damaged skin in psoriasis in susceptible to infections by many bacteria, fungus, and viruses.
The microbes on the patches may increase the symptoms and create complications. Therefore, it is important to apply medications which not only treat psoriasis but have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties to fight off the infections in psoriasis affected areas.
Coconut oil also shows anti-fungal properties. Coconut oil can serve as a very good alternative to chemical medications due to increases in a number of drug-resistant species.
What does this mean?
Coconut oil helps in preventing infections that might occur because of psoriasis and prevents further complications.
3. Coconut oil is a natural skin moisturizer
Water soluble amino acids and lipids in the skin help it to retain the moisture by preventing water loss through evaporation. Fats and lipids in skin epidermis protect these compounds and keep the skin hydrated.
The epidermis also contains important enzymes that help in getting rid of old and dead cells. In psoriasis, these dry cells cause scales and itching.
In absence of skin fats and lipids in the epidermis, the amino acids, enzymes, and salts are easily washed away. The skin starts loosing water and becomes dry, flaky and cracked.Moisturizers coat the skin and prevent it from drying.
Coconut oil when applied to the scalp or the skin helps in retaining the moisture. This prevents drying and formation of skin scales.
Virgin coconut oil is known to be effective in preventing transepidermal ( between skin) water loss and inflammation.
Oils are more favored than creams and lotions as moisturizers because they last longer and are more effective.
What does this mean?
Coconut oil moisturizers and softens the skin affected with psoriasis. It helps in removal of scales and prevents water loss, keeping the skin hydrated.
4. Coconut oil does not cause any side effects and is gentle on the skin
Allergies to coconut oil are extremely rare. Coconut oil does not cause any skin irritations and side effects as compared to other medicated creams, ointments, and essential oils, that some people may be allergic to.
What does this mean?
Coconut oil has almost no side effects and allergies. it is very gentle to use on any skin part.
Dosage of Coconut Oil For Psoriasis
In the case of psoriasis, topical application is most favored and effective as it is a skin condition. Make sure you use organic virgin coconut oil. There are several ways to use coconut oil for psoriasis treatment.
- It can be applied directly to the affected area 1-2 times daily. The skin can be gently massaged to remove scales and increase skin moisture in every affected area.
- It is also used as oil base in combination with other essential oils for topical application.
- It can be included in creams, moisturizers, ointments, lotions and soaps.
- It can be used as bathing oil.
- In the case of psoriasis in scalp, hair oil and shampoos containing coconut oil can be used.
- Coconut oil also can be included in diet say 1-2 tsp a day to help ameliorate the autoimmune condition.
Before using coconut oil to treat psoriasis, always perform skin patch and sensitivity test to check for possible allergies and irritations.
Apply a small amount over a small skin area and look out for any redness, irritations, itching or other reaction that may occur. If it does, coconut oil may not be suitable for you. If not, it is safe for usage.
Always consult your medical professional before taking any supplementary medicine, especially if you are on any previous medications. This may interfere with its working or cause reactions.
Always use pure, natural and organic variety of coconut oil from a good brand which is free from impurities and additives. Virgin coconut oil is best as it is unrefined and not subjected to chemicals.
Coconut oil seems a very safe and effective remedy for treating psoriasis. Although more research is required to study its direct effects, many studies suggest its properties that can be used to treat psoriatic symptoms.
It protects from skin inflammation and pain and prevents possible infections. It is an excellent moisturizer that prevents dryness and water loss and restores and rejuvenates the skin.
It is better that other creams, ointments and other oils because it is free from side effects, easily absorbed and very gentle to use. Individuals with psoriasis should include it as a supplementary medicine for treatment. Its regular use may decrease the symptoms to a large extent and prevent flare-ups.