Coconut Oil And Psoriasis: How It Can Help Your Symptoms

coconut oil and psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin condition that affects over 7 million people nationwide.  Characterised by plaques of red skin that are often covered with pearly-silvery scales that itch and cause pain.  There is no known cure and currently good management of the condition is the best action for sufferers.

Coconut Oil Treatment

Coconut oil is natural antibacterial, anti inflammatory and great at soothing.

  • Apply liberally 3 times a day to the affected area
  • Ingest 1 table spoon twice a day

How Does Coconut Oil Help Manage The Symptoms Of Psoriasis?

Taking  2 tablespoons a day as a dietary supplement, it has been shown to still help alleviate your symptoms¹.  There are a wide variety of ways to get this into your system including several different healthy recipes.

As far as a topical treatment, it helps alleviate the pain and itching through a couple of different ways.  Because it is a natural moisturizer, it helps keep the skin soft and supple, which will help the skin from cracking, which is often the case in moderate to severe psoriasis.

By doing this, it can help remove the scales and even prevent the formation of them in milder cases.  In the milder cases of psoriasis, coconut oil may be the only treatment that you need.  Using a coconut oil based soap such as Dr Organic is beneficial over surfactant based soaps which can actually trigger the condition.

What Are The Causes And Symptoms Of Psoriasis?

Symptoms of psoriasis vary depending on the type. Treatments are transferable but the effectiveness may vary.

  • Plaque Psoriasis.  This is the most common form,  it is characterised by plaques of red skin that may be covered with loose scales that are pearly-silver.  Depending on how severe it is, these plaques may crack and bleed.  These plaques when irritated may grow into each other, creating large patches. Scales or plaques may appear and build up on the scalp.

People with this type of psoriasis also may have problems with their nails showing signs of pitting and discolouration.  Nails may also crumble or detach from the nail beds.

Psoriasis is also associated with psoriatic arthritis, a condition that will lead to swelling and pain in the joints.  Approximately 10%-30% of all psoriasis sufferers also develop psoriatic arthritis.

  • Pustular Psoriasis.  This type of psoriasis is distinguished by red scaly skin on either the palms or feet with pustules (blister looking pus filled sacs).
  • Guttate Psoriasis.  This type of psoriasis is characterized by small, red spots on the torso and/or limbs.  Often starting in childhood or early adulthood, its triggers are strep throat, tonsillitis, respiratory infections, injuries to the skin, and the use of beta-blockers (medications for cardiac conditions and high blood pressure) as well as anti-malarial medications.
  • Inverse Psoriasis.  This psoriasis will show itself as bright, shiny red lesions that will appear in the skin folds such as the groin area, arm pits, under the breast, and under a protruding stomach.
  • Eythrodermic Psoriasis.  With this type of psoriasis, the sufferer will have periodic fiery redness to the skin with shedding of scales in their sheets.  Triggered by withdrawals from systemic (treatment meant to affect the entire body) medications, infections and severe sunburns, this is the most dangerous type of all as it can lead to very serious illness.

Recent research has shown that psoriasis is mainly caused by an abnormality of the immune system. Psoriasis is a condition of flare-ups and remissions that can be triggered by trauma, emotional stress and strep infections.   It is a hereditary condition, but it can skip a generation, meaning your parent may not have shown any symptoms.

Some Other Natural Treatments

Asides from coconut oil there are a few other essential oils and natural compounds that can help manage symptoms.

  • Aloe Vera.  It works as a moisturizer and helps keep skin soft.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar.  This is used to help reduce the inflammation
  • Sunlight: UV is a very commonly used treatment. Usually used in combination with Psoralen which makes the skin more sensitive to UV light, psoriasis symptoms show significant reduction.

The effectiveness of each of these treatment dramatically varies from person to person, our advice is to try them all until you find a combination that works effectively for you.

References

¹Calcipotriol (Dovonex) scalp solution in the treatment of scalp psoriasis: comparative efficacy with 1% coal tar/1% coconut oil/0.5% salicylic acid (Capasal) shampoo, and long-term experience. Journal of Derma. 2000, Vol. 11, No. 1 , Pages 21-28

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