Coconut oil for eczema is one area that has generated a lot of interest in the management of eczema. Many types of treatments have been tried in an attempt to treat this condition with varying degrees of success. Conventional medicine has many preparations for it while there are just as many products in the alternative medicine field. But what really is eczema?
This is a skin condition that is sometimes referred to as dermatitis. People of all ages can be affected but the problem is more common in children. The disease is characterized by a dry skin and presents differently in each person. Other common symptoms include
Scratching can peel the skin leading to bleeding and supra-imposed infections. Severe forms have extreme itchiness and weeping. Coconut oil for eczema products helps in alleviating these symptoms.
Skin changes in eczema
The skin is considered the largest organ in the body. It is also the first line of our body’s defenses. It protects the body from external elements including irritants. The skin
has three layers. These are the outer layer called epidermis, the middle layer – the dermis and the innermost layer called the hypodermis. All these layers work together to provide protection against physical assault to the internal body structures and infections. Other functions include keeping the body well-moisturized and in regulation of body temperature.
What happens to the skin when a person has eczema?
In eczema the natural functions of the skin are interrupted. The ability of the skin to retain water and oils does not work normally. This leads to a dry skin and cracks forming on the skin. These cracks effectively break the epidermis defense. These open the way to the numerous microorganisms on the skin and surrounding environment. Irritants that would not be able to breach the epidermis can now easily get in and cause further skin problems. This is when the symptoms discussed above present.
How is eczema conventionally treated?
Apart from coconut oil for eczema, the condition is conventionally treated with products that aim at keeping the skin as moisturized as possible. After a dermatologists review, he may prescribe:
An emollient moisturizer as a cream, lotion or as a gel. Oils and soaps are also available for this purpose.
Topical corticosteroids. Steroids applications are used when moisturizers have not worked well or during eczema exacerbations.
Different strengths of these preparations are used to treat the various types of eczema and the part of the body affected. Since eczema can present as a dry or wet skin condition, treatment aims at making it moist or normal depending on the state of the skin at the time of consultation.
How coconut oil help in eczema
Coconut oil has a unique property that closely resembles the natural oil found in the skin. It is very light and so when used on an eczematous skin its moisturizing effects blends naturally with the skin’s physiology. This helps to repair skin damaged by eczema. Other beneficial properties of this oil that favors eczema healing include:
Coconut oil can be taken orally as a supplement or in food and it will still help people with eczema. Topical application is very helpful. Follow manufacturer’s direction for best results. Coconut oil can also be combined with other products (example vitamin E) for a more synergistic effect. The best thing is that the virgin coconut oil can be used orally and topically.
Unlike the use of corticosteroid preparations, coconut oil does not cause skin thinning or the serious systemic disorder called Cushing’s syndrome that can occur with prolonged use of steroids. The best coconut oil for eczema if available should be organic extra-virgin coconut oil.