Coconut Oil for Psoriasis: What You Need to Know

Introduction Discovering the potential of coconut oil for psoriasis can be a beacon of hope for those who have struggled with the persistent and often distressing symptoms of this autoimmune skin condition. Psoriasis sufferers know …

Coconut Oil for Psoriasis


Discovering the potential of coconut oil for psoriasis can be a beacon of hope for those who have struggled with the persistent and often distressing symptoms of this autoimmune skin condition. Psoriasis sufferers know the cycle all too well: the rapid buildup of skin cells leading to inflamed, scaly plaques that itch, peel, and sometimes cause considerable pain.

While medical treatments are available, many individuals seek natural remedies to soothe their symptoms. Among these, coconut oil has emerged as a popular choice due to its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties, offering a gentle alternative to harsher treatments.

Despite the anecdotal success stories circulating online, it’s important to approach coconut oil with a balanced perspective. While some individuals report significant relief, scientific research has yet to confirm coconut oil as a definitive treatment for psoriasis.

Nevertheless, the organic and holistic approach of using coconut oil aligns with a growing desire for treatments that are not only effective but also kind to the body.

Coconut Oil for Psoriasis

In this article, we’ll delve into the potential benefits of coconut oil for psoriasis, how to use it, and the precautions one should consider, all while grounding our discussion in the latest research and evidence.

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that accelerates the life cycle of skin cells, causing them to build up rapidly on the skin’s surface.

This accumulation leads to the formation of red, inflamed patches covered with silvery scales, known as plaques, which can be itchy and sometimes painful. Unlike normal skin that takes weeks to grow and shed cells, psoriatic skin completes this cycle in just a few days, resulting in the characteristic lesions.

The condition is often hereditary and can be triggered by environmental factors, but it is not contagious. Despite ongoing research, a full cure for psoriasis remains elusive, making symptom management a key focus for those affected.

While conventional treatments such as topical creams, phototherapy, and systemic medications are commonly prescribed to manage psoriasis, many patients turn to natural remedies like coconut oil for additional relief.

The use of coconut oil for psoriasis is rooted in its ability to moisturize and soothe the skin, potentially reducing the discomfort associated with dry, scaly plaques.

However, it’s crucial to note that while coconut oil may offer temporary relief, it does not address the underlying rapid skin cell production characteristic of psoriasis.

Benefits of coconut oil for psoriasis

Coconut Oil for Psoriasis

Anti-inflammatory properties

One of the key benefits of coconut oil for psoriasis lies in its anti-inflammatory properties. The lauric acid found in coconut oil is known to help reduce inflammation, which is a central feature of psoriatic plaques.

By soothing inflammation, coconut oil can help alleviate the redness and swelling associated with psoriasis, providing a sense of relief for those dealing with the condition.

Although it is not a cure, the anti-inflammatory effects of coconut oil can complement other treatments by helping to manage one of the most troublesome symptoms of psoriasis.

Moreover, the natural composition of coconut oil means it is less likely to cause irritation compared to some chemical-based treatments. This makes it a suitable option for individuals with sensitive skin or those looking for a more holistic approach to managing their psoriasis symptoms.

While the full extent of coconut oil’s anti-inflammatory benefits requires further research, its use as a supportive treatment continues to be valued by many within the psoriasis community.

Moisturizing effects

The hydrating power of coconut oil is another advantage for individuals with psoriasis. As a natural emollient, coconut oil helps to lock in moisture, reducing the dryness and flaking associated with psoriatic plaques.

This moisturizing effect can be particularly beneficial during colder months when the skin tends to become more dehydrated.

By maintaining the skin’s moisture balance, coconut oil can soften the scales and make them less prone to cracking and bleeding, which not only improves the appearance of the skin but also enhances comfort levels for those affected by psoriasis.

Furthermore, the versatility of coconut oil allows it to be easily incorporated into daily skincare routines. It can be applied directly to the skin or mixed with other soothing agents like aloe vera to enhance its skin-softening properties.

Although coconut oil alone may not significantly reduce the size or extent of psoriatic scales, its role as a supportive moisturizer in conjunction with other treatments can contribute to overall skin health and symptom management for psoriasis sufferers.

Antimicrobial properties

Expanding on the benefits of coconut oil for psoriasis, its antimicrobial properties offer an additional layer of support for those with the condition.

The lauric acid in coconut oil not only reduces inflammation but also provides a defense against harmful microbes that can exacerbate skin irritation and infection.

This antimicrobial action helps to protect the skin from secondary infections, which are a concern for individuals with compromised skin barriers due to psoriasis.

By maintaining a healthier skin environment, coconut oil can contribute to the overall management of psoriasis symptoms.

Regular application of coconut oil may help to minimize the risk of infection, a common complication for psoriatic skin which is often more vulnerable to bacteria and fungi.

While it is not a standalone treatment, when used as part of a comprehensive skincare regimen, coconut oil’s antimicrobial properties can play a crucial role in maintaining skin health for those with psoriasis.

It’s important to note, however, that while coconut oil has these beneficial properties, it should complement, rather than replace, prescribed treatments and individuals should consult with their healthcare provider for personalized advice.

How to use coconut oil for psoriasis

Coconut Oil for Psoriasis

Topical application

For those exploring the use of coconut oil for psoriasis, topical application is a straightforward and effective method. After gently cleansing the affected area, coconut oil can be massaged into the skin, focusing on the psoriatic plaques.

This not only aids in moisturizing the skin but also helps in loosening and removing scales, especially when applied after a shower when the skin is most receptive to hydration. The National Psoriasis Foundation suggests that massaging the oil into the scalp, a common site for psoriatic plaques, can be particularly beneficial.

To enhance the moisturizing effects, a warm towel wrap post-application is recommended, as it helps the skin absorb the oil more effectively.

While the application process is simple, it’s crucial to be gentle to avoid further irritation. After leaving the oil on the skin for about half an hour, it should be rinsed off with care, using a comb to help remove any loosened scales from the hair.

Although coconut oil’s moisturizing and antimicrobial properties are advantageous, it is essential to remember that it is often used as an adjunct to other treatments rather than a primary therapy.

As always, individuals should consult with their healthcare provider before making changes to their treatment plan.

Oral consumption

Moving beyond topical application, incorporating coconut oil into one’s diet is another avenue to consider for those managing psoriasis.

Oral consumption of coconut oil can contribute to overall health, thanks to its content of medium-chain fatty acids like lauric acid, which may support the body’s anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial responses.

While there is no direct evidence linking dietary intake of coconut oil to improved psoriasis symptoms, a healthy diet is a key component of managing the condition.

Consuming coconut oil as part of a balanced diet could potentially aid in reducing systemic inflammation, though it should not be relied upon as a primary treatment for psoriasis.

It’s important to approach the oral consumption of coconut oil with moderation, as it is high in saturated fats.

Consulting with a healthcare provider or a nutritionist can provide guidance on the appropriate inclusion of coconut oil in a diet tailored for psoriasis management. As with any dietary change, it’s crucial to monitor one’s response to ensure that it complements the overall treatment strategy without causing adverse effects.

Remember, while coconut oil offers several health benefits, it is not a cure for psoriasis and should be used in conjunction with other medical recommendations.

Research and evidence supporting the use of coconut oil for psoriasis

coconut oil

When it comes to the scientific backing for coconut oil as a treatment for psoriasis, the research landscape is somewhat sparse. While anecdotal evidence and preliminary studies suggest that coconut oil’s moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties may offer relief for psoriasis symptoms, there is a lack of robust clinical trials to conclusively support its efficacy.

The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects of lauric acid, a key component of coconut oil, have been recognized in general terms, but its specific impact on psoriatic plaques requires further investigation.

It’s important for patients to understand that while coconut oil may soothe the skin and reduce dryness, it is not recognized as a standalone treatment for psoriasis and should not replace prescribed therapies.

Despite the limited research, the use of coconut oil for psoriasis remains a popular complementary approach. The National Psoriasis Foundation acknowledges the potential benefits of coconut oil as part of a broader skin care regimen.

However, they also emphasize the necessity of consulting healthcare professionals before incorporating it into one’s treatment plan. As with any alternative remedy, individual responses to coconut oil can vary, and what works for one person may not be effective for another.

Therefore, while coconut oil is a safe and natural option to explore, it should be done with careful consideration and professional guidance.

Precautions and potential side effects

Coconut Oil for Psoriasis

Allergic reactions

While coconut oil is generally considered safe for topical use, individuals with psoriasis should be aware of the potential for allergic reactions.

Sensitivity to coconut oil, although rare, can manifest as additional redness, itching, or warmth at the point of contact on the skin. To minimize the risk of an adverse reaction, it is advisable to perform a patch test before applying coconut oil to larger areas of the body.

Dr. Robin Evans, a dermatologist, recommends applying a small amount to the inside of the forearm and covering it with a Band-Aid for a few days to test for sensitivity. If no negative reactions occur, it may be safe to proceed with more liberal application (source).

Despite the positive experiences some individuals have reported with coconut oil, it’s crucial to remember that reactions can vary. If an allergic reaction is suspected, discontinuing use immediately and consulting a healthcare provider is essential.

Moreover, while coconut oil can serve as a moisturizing therapy, it is often not effective as a sole treatment for psoriasis. Patients should consider it as one component of a comprehensive treatment plan, rather than a standalone solution, and always seek medical advice before making any changes to their regimen (source).

Effectiveness may vary

The effectiveness of coconut oil for psoriasis can differ significantly from person to person. While some individuals, like Martin Clarke, have experienced remarkable improvements in skin texture and reduced plaques, others may find coconut oil less beneficial.

Personal testimonials on forums such as the Psoriasis Association highlight the variability in results, with some users reporting a ‘miracle’ effect and others noticing minimal or no change.

This variability underscores the importance of approaching coconut oil as a potential supplement to traditional treatments, rather than a cure-all.

Given the subjective nature of coconut oil’s effectiveness, it’s essential for individuals to manage their expectations and remain open to other treatment options.

Medical professionals may recommend a range of therapies, from phototherapy to systemic medications like acitretin or biologic drugs, depending on the severity of the psoriasis.

While coconut oil may provide some symptomatic relief, it is crucial to follow a treatment plan that is tailored to one’s specific condition and overseen by a healthcare provider (source).


Coconut Oil for Psoriasis

In conclusion, the journey to managing psoriasis is highly individualized, with treatments like coconut oil offering hope to some while presenting less significant results to others.

The anecdotal evidence shared by users on platforms such as the Psoriasis Association forum provides a glimpse into the potential benefits of coconut oil, but it’s important to balance these personal stories with professional medical advice.

As we’ve seen, coconut oil can be a soothing adjunct to a broader treatment strategy, but it should not be relied upon as the sole method of management.

Ultimately, those living with psoriasis should consider all available options, including lifestyle changes, dietary adjustments, and medical treatments, in consultation with healthcare professionals.

By doing so, individuals can develop a comprehensive plan that not only addresses the symptoms but also contributes to an overall better quality of life.

Remember, while natural remedies like coconut oil can be part of your psoriasis care, they are most effective when integrated into a well-rounded treatment approach endorsed by your dermatologist (source).



  • What do you soak psoriasis feet in?

    Psoriasis on feet home remedies. You can try 1:1 apple cider vinegar and warm water foot soak. Daily for 10 minutes.

  • What is good to rub on psoriasis?

    Vaseline, Cetaphil, and Eucerin cream are a few commonly available moisturizers reported to provide good results. Avoid lightweight lotions, which don’t contain enough emollients. If over-the-counter products don’t help, your doctor may prescribe a moisturizing cream that contains medication.

  • What clears psoriasis fast?

    TOPICAL THERAPY: Corticosteroids, Vitamin D analogues, Retinoids, Calcineurin inhibitors, Salicylic acid, Coal tar, Anthralin.

  • Is turmeric and coconut oil good for psoriasis?

    Some patients apply turmeric creams, oils, and ointments directly to the skin to treat psoriasis or other skin ailments such as acne and rosacea. These topical products may not only reduce inflammation but also help fight bacteria and infection. The antioxidants in turmeric might also help keep skin cells healthy.

Originally posted 2023-12-08 15:42:55.

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