Coconut Oil for Eczema and Psoriasis
TIANA Organic Raw Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil can help you not only to improve your eczema or psoriasis conditions but also moisturize the affecter areas – why not give it a try? The article below was written especially for TIANA Ltd by the leading specialist - Dr. Linda Kennedy MS SLP ND
Eczema and psoriasis are common skin disorders. Eczema is an inflammation of the skin that is characterized by dryness, redness, swelling, itching, and sometimes bleeding. Psoriasis causes red scaly patches that are also caused by inflammation. Each of these conditions is treatable. However, these treatments are only modestly effective and are associated with significant side effects (Shah 2003).
Eczema is most commonly treated with corticosteroids and drugs that suppress the immune system. However, prolonged use of these medications can cause skin thinness, skin infection, and pituitary gland malfunction with corticosteroids. With immunosuppressant therapy, cancer of the lymph nodes and skin as well as greater susceptibility to infections are common. Treatment for psoriasis may include ointments that contain oil tar and corticosteroids and even ultraviolet light treatments. Obviously, safer treatments for these skin conditions must be considered.
Coconut oil can be used as a topical ointment and is a safe and effective treatment for eczema and psoriasis. Coconut oil, rich in natural vitamins, has been used to moisturize skin for centuries. However, the true benefit of coconut oil comes from its anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties (Marina 2008). Since eczema and psoriasis are both characterized by inflammation, the anti-inflammatory properties of coconut oil make this a perfect treatment option. The fact that coconut oil results in absolutely no side effects makes this an even more attractive option. Unprocessed virgin coconut oil is most effective and can be applied directly to the affected area of skin.
The active ingredients in coconut oil are medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). Medium-chain fatty acids penetrate the skin to the connective tissues where they reduce cellular inflammation. The MCFAs found in coconut oil also increase blood flow to the skin by improving blood vessel function. Finally, these MCFAs destroy free radicals, which are compounds that encourage skin inflammation. However, coconut oil does not exert its effects immediately. When applied to the skin, the bacteria on the skin react with the MCFAs and turn them into free fatty acids. It is these free fatty acids that ultimately reduce chronic inflammation, which is hallmark of both eczema and psoriasis. Generally, it takes several days before the anti-inflammatory effects of coconut oil on eczema and psoriasis are evident.
Coconut oil is most effective when combined with lifestyle changes that reduce skin inflammation. For example, eating too many omega-6 fatty acids (found in many polyunsaturated fats and used in pre-packaged foods poor in whole food vitamins) promotes inflammation. In addition, scratching skin lesions enhances inflammation and prevents healing. Finally, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and overeating all promote skin inflammation, which in patients with eczema and psoriasis can counteract the healing effects of coconut oil.
Overall, phytonutrients rich coconut oil is a safe and effective natural treatment for chronic skin disorders. Considering the dismal safety and effectiveness of traditional treatments for eczema and psoriasis, coconut oil stands out as an obvious choice.
Dr. Linda Kennedy MS SLP ND
Marina AM, Man YB, Nazimah SA, Amin I. Antioxidant capacity and phenolic acids of virgin coconut oil. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2008 Dec 29:1-10.
Shah MK. Coconut oil compound ointment. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2003 Jul-Aug;69(4):303-4.
Dr. Linda Kennedy MS SLP ND: Helps her patients achieve a healthy equilibrium through proper lifestyle and nutrition. Her private laboratory produces custom dietary supplements for her patients to include whole food nutritional products and immune system modulators. She packs a solid educational background with degrees in organic chemistry, psychology and a Masters in communication sciences and disorders. She sports a diverse work history including experience and expertise in acute care neuro-rehab services, special education, autism support and therapy, spinal cord injuries, senior neuro rehabilitation, and oncology support services. She currently counsels both patients and colleagues in the area of natural health care.
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