Coconut oil for eczema: How it works and tips for use

The main symptoms of eczema are patches of dry, itchy, and scaly skin that may crack and bleed. A key aim of treatment is to keep the skin hydrated.

Some medications can irritate sensitive skin, prompting many people with eczema to search for effective natural treatments, such as coconut oil.

In this article, we delve into the research that explains how coconut oil can relieve eczema symptoms. We also describe how to use it and the possible risks.

How does coconut oil counter eczema?

Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, a healthful fatty acid that is also in breast milk.

Lauric acid is an ingredient in natural remedies for all kinds of health issues, including eczema.

While coconut oil cannot cure eczema, it can soothe the skin, reduce irritation and itching, and lower the risk of infection.

What does the research say?

Eczema reduces the skin’s ability to stay hydrated. Results of a 2014 randomized, double-blind clinical trial indicate that applying virgin coconut oil to the skin for 8 weeks may improve skin hydration in children with eczema.

According to the findings of a 2018 study, coconut oil also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps protect the skin.

Similarly, a 2013 study suggests that the antioxidants in coconut oil can support the treatment of skin conditions.

Authors of a 2014 scientific review concluded that coconut oil can effectively reduce the presence of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This is significant because people with eczema can be more vulnerable to skin infections.

Eczema can cause the skin to crack and bleed. Scratching or even touching broken skin can lead to infection.

The following natural remedies may also help to soothe and eliminate symptoms of eczema:

  • Apple cider vinegar. The acidity and antimicrobial effects of apple cider vinegar may relieve symptoms of eczema. However, the high concentration of acid can irritate or burn sensitive skin, so use caution.
  • Omega-3 supplements. Taking omega-3 fish oil supplements can boost the immune system and prevent flare-ups.
  • Vitamin D. These supplements may help prevent eczema symptoms.
  • Probiotics. Regularly taking probiotics may also help prevent eczema flare-ups.


Applying coconut oil is a natural way to keep the skin hydrated. This may be especially beneficial during flare-ups of eczema symptoms. Continuing to use the oil between flare-ups may prevent symptoms from returning or becoming worse.

A person can purchase virgin coconut oil online or find it in some supermarkets and health stores.

Using coconut oil regularly can moisturize the skin, reduce itchiness, and lower the risk of infection. However, as always, speak to a doctor before adding a natural remedy to a course of treatment.

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