Coconut Oil for Eczema
Because of its many unique health properties and benefits, coconut oil is fast gaining popularity as a natural remedy for many conditions, including skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. If you struggle with dry, flaky, reddened skin, read on for information and tips on the coconut oil eczema remedy.
What is Eczema?
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is experienced as dry, cracked, flaky red skin that is itchy and uncomfortable, and predominately (but not always) starts in childhood. The eczema is always present at the affected area but flare-ups do occur, in which symptoms worsen and can even include bacterial infections.
Why Does Coconut Oil Help Eczema?
Unrefined, virgin coconut oil is an effective eczema remedy because it is a healthy, natural moisturizer with anti-inflammatory properties. It works to provide immediate relief, soothing irritation and redness in dry skin. The moisture also helps stop the skin flaking. And since unrefined coconut oil has amazing antibacterial, antifungal properties, it can also help keep the area clean and help prevent infection.
How to Use Coconut Oil for Eczema
Make sure you get a good unrefined, organic, virgin coconut oil — this type is unprocessed and retains all of its wonderful natural benefits (and can be used in the kitchen as well!). I use, and recommend, Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Apply the oil to the affected area – it is liquid at room temperature, and a little goes a long way. It may help to spread it over the area with a cotton round, though not necessary. Leave the oil on to absorb in like you would any lotion. It works well right out of the shower, but can be applied three or four times a day. Applying it before bed is recommended as it eases itching that causes sleeplessness and allows it to absorb through the night.
Other Factors That Help
- Avoid soaps with harsh chemicals or allergens, especially the fragrance linalool. If you are going to continue using soap, which some with eczema don’t, I would recommend Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap, Kirk’s Original Coco Castile Soap, or the very yummy-smelling Nubian Heritage. These soaps are natural and coconut-oil based.
- Avoid hot showers for a prolonged period
- Avoid irritating fabrics like wool
- Consider installing a water-softener for hard water
- Get rid of bed bugs and other dust mites
- Don’t scratch and keep nails short and clean
- Expose the area to sunlight for about 15-20 minutes about every day or so
- Check for any food allergies such as to wheat or dairy and eliminate accordingly