Evelyn Lim is an author, a vision board counselor, life coach, and an intuitive consultant.
The Coconut Fruit
Natural Eczema Treatment With Virgin Coconut Oil
A natural eczema treatment can be found in the use of virgin coconut oil. In fact, I have gotten great results with its use on my dry eczema skin. As it is, I have to be careful not to use products that contain fragrance or chemical substances. I have found that natural oils make a far better alternative in helping to moisturize and hydrate my skin. What is particularly useful to know is that the constituents of natural oils are perfect for the body. Virgin coconut oil is now touted to be one of the best natural eczema treatments that you can find around.
What Is Eczema?
The term "eczema" or "dermatitis" has been used to describe a group of skin problems where the skin becomes itchy and inflamed, and thus red splotches become visible. On a larger scale, eczema is also grouped with the classic allergy diseases, asthma and hay fever, in a complex that is termed "atopy" (from the Greek word "atopos," meaning "out of place").
Eczema is always marked by dry skin. The eczema skin cannot protect itself from increased rate of evaporation, and the loss of moisture leads to further dryness. In turn, the dry skin gets more irritated and itchy, leading to increased scratching that worsens the rash. The itchy, red rash can affect the entire body. Many people get it in the joints of the arms, the inside of the elbows, the joints of the leg, and especially at the back of the knees.
Natural Eczema Treatment Versus Steroids
The conventional method for treatment of eczema is by way of steroid application. However, long-term use produces side effects like "thinning of the skin," leading to increased vulnerability to bacterial infection and the risk of aggravating the problem of eczema. Alternative health experts also suggest that any form of drugs increases toxicity to the body and this can create other health problems.
Introducing Coconut Palm as "The Tree Of Life"
Coconut oil comes from the coconut fruit. The scientific name for coconut is Cocos nucifera. The coconut is an important staple in many tropical islands. Perhaps you do not get to see this fruit often enough in the supermarkets but nearly one third of the world's population depends on coconut to some extent for food and their economy.
Coconut is highly nutritious. It is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In fact, it possesses health benefits beyond its nutritional content. Pacific Islanders call the coconut palm "The Tree of Life", claiming that the oil can be used to cure several diseases. It is a claim that has now been confirmed by research.
Medium-Chain Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Makes the Difference
Coconut oil was previously mistakenly believed to be unhealthy because of its high saturated fat content. However, it is now established that not all fats are the same. The fats that are truly "bad" are trans fats, whereas the fat in coconut oil is unique and different from most all other fats.
Coconut oil is composed predominantly of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). It is the MCFA that give coconut oil its healing benefits.
The majority of fats and oils in our diets, whether they are saturated or unsaturated or come from animals or plants, are composed of long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Some 98 to 100% of all the fatty acids you consume are LCFA.
MCFA are very different from LCFA. They do not have any negative effect on cholesterol and hence, protect the body against from any form of heart disease. MCFA help to lower the risk of both atherosclerosis and heart disease. There are only a very few good dietary sources of MCFA. The best sources by far are from coconut and palm kernel oils.
Lauric acid, known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties, contributes about 50% of the fatty acid in coconut fat. Lauric acid, which is also contained in mother's milk, is the most essential fatty acid for the building of an immune system. In the body it is converted to monolaurin, a powerful monoglyceride that destroys lipid-coated viruses (such as cytomegalovirus, HIV, herpes, and influenza) as well as pathogenic bacteria.
Coconut Oil to Heal Eczema
The MCFA help restore damaged skin by penetrating into the cell structures of the connective tissues. Hence, it is excellent as a natural eczema treatment, or for other skin disorders as well as for anti-aging purposes. It also helps prevent the skin from developing liver spots by destroying free radical formation.
MCFA in coconut oil help to prevent fungal and bacterial infections in the skin. At least one type of bacterium feeds on the sebum of our skin, breaking down the tryglycerides of the coconut oil into free fatty acids. When they are broken apart into free fatty acids, they become powerful antimicrobials, killing disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
The combination of the slightly acid pH of the skin and the MCFA provides a protective chemical layer on the skin that prevents infection from disease-causing organisms.
When you bathe or shower, ordinary soap tends to wash off the acid mantle of your skin. Applying coconut oil helps to restore the protective layer of your skin. Coconut oil penetrates quickly, keeping your skin soft. It helps to reduce any inflammation and is healing to wounds, blood blisters and rashes. Herbalists have been known to use coconut oil as an ingredient to prepare healing salves and ointments. A home remedy for eliminating plantar warts and athlete's foot is to mix coconut oil and crushed garlic.
To reiterate, associated benefits of coconut oil for eczema skin include:
- Reduces inflammation.
- Supports tissue healing and repair.
- Supports and aids immune system function.
- Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.
- Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.
- Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.
- Provides protection form damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation form the sun.
Other benefits of coconut oil include:
- Improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
- Improves calcium and magnesium absorption, supporting the development of strong bones and teeth.
- Improves bowel function.
Choose Organic and Virgin Coconut Oil for Treatment
It is best to select coconut oil that is both organic and virgin for a natural treatment for eczema.
Why organic coconut oil? Dry eczema skin can be a symptom of a highly toxic body. Hence, the last thing you want to do is to use a product that is not produced organically.
Why virgin coconut oil? Virgin coconut oil is made by using fresh coconut meat with little or no processing, or what is called non-copra.
Most commercial grade coconut oils are produced from copra. Most of the copra, the meat of the coconut, is dried under the sun in the open air where it gets exposed to insects and molds. The standard end product made from copra is RBD coconut oil. RBD means refined, bleached, and deodorized. Both high heat and chemicals (e.g. solvent extractions) are used in this method.
A fragrant smell is characteristic of virgin coconut oils. Copra-based refined coconut oils have no taste or fragrance due to the refining process.
Recipes Using Coconut Oil as a Key Ingredient
With so many facts found about the coconut oil, there are now cookbooks written for its use as a key ingredient in recipes. As an Asian living near the tropics, I have been brought up eating food that makes use of the coconut. My all-time favorite is the coconut rice. We cook this, with other accompanying dishes, every time we have guests from other parts of the world coming over for dinner.
Recipe for Virgin Coconut Oil Vinaigrette
Coconut oil vinaigrette is a tasty salad dressing. You can also add minced garlic, parsley, onion powder, cayenne powder, dill weed, Parmesan cheese, or Dijon mustard to the recipe below for some variations.
- 1/4 cup of your favorite vinegar
- 1/2 cup liquid virgin coconut oil
- 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Wisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Store in glass jar in refrigerator and warm to room temperature before using.
- Pour over fresh salad vegetables as needed.
Recipe for Coconut Basmati Rice
You would not want to miss out on trying this recipe if you are a rice lover!
- 3 cups long grain rice (I like Basmati)
- 3 cups coconut milk or 1 can coconut cream mixed with 3 cups of water
- 1 1/2 cups raisins
- 6 tablespoons slivered almonds
- 1 onion, sliced
- sea salt to taste
- Slice and fry the onions in coconut oil until they are golden brown.
- Fry the almonds lightly. Set both aside.
- Put rice, coconut cream, water and salt in a saucepan (or rice cooker).
- Bring it to boil on medium heat and boil until liquid is gone.
- Reduce heat, cover and continue cooking until rice is well cooked and fluffy.
- Gently stir with a fork.
- Garnish with fried raisins, onion and almonds. Serves: 4-6.
Recipe for Organic Carrot Cake With Virgin Coconut Oil
Who would have thought that virgin coconut oil can be used to make carrot cake? Here is this absolutely delicious recipe for it . . .
- 8oz organic grated carrots
- 8oz organic soft brown sugar
- 6oz organic virgin coconut oil
- 4oz organic plain wholemeal flour
- 2oz organic chopped walnuts
- 2 organic free range eggs
- Grated zest of 1 organic orange
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Beat all the above ingredients together and place in a baking tin greased with virgin coconut oil.
- Cook in preheated oven at 180 deg C/350 deg F for 45-60minutes.
- To ensure that cake is ready, check with a metal skewer. The cake should not stick on to the skewer!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Sara Johnson from United States on October 18, 2014:
What about almond oil? You really hit the nail on the head with so many tips on eczema in this hub. I have a bit on this skin disease a bit too, if you have a chance - https://hubpages.com/health/Eczema-Treatment-A-Gui...
Mia Gordon from New Zealand on October 04, 2013:
Really good hub thanks, may I say I love using Neem oil in eczema recipes with coconut oil - Neem is very soothing, repairing and healing. Neem and coconut work very well together. Thanks again for the really good info :)
Colin Chen on September 11, 2012:
Hi Guys, I have been suffering from severe eczema for 30 years and have recently almost 99% cured myself through a natural detox process via liver n gall bladder flush, colon n kidney cleanse, diet changes etc. and stopping all meds! I have tried almost everything but can tell you that VCO is the best oil for eczema..learn how for free at https://twitter.com/Eczemacured
Kiesha on March 14, 2012:
I usually do not write comments or reviews, but I have a 15month old who has eczema. I have used hydrocortisone over the counter, prescription, other prescription steroid ointments, neosporin eczema healing stuff, aveeno, dove soap, cetaphil and on and on. My sons arms, hands and legs were so scratched up with sores and scratches and he would just dig and dig. Tired of the sleepless nights and constant buying of creams and oral antihistimines I researched more and more and found an article about cod liver oil and virgin organic coconut oil. I figured it cant hurt since I've tried everything else. We have only been using the coconut oil as a topical daily and 1ml of cod liver oil orally for (4) days now and the results are amazing. He doesn't scratch his arms or hands anymore and he scratches his legs when he's really tired and he is sleeping through the night. Now i'm not saying this is a miracle cure, but i can certainly say it is working for MY son when nothing else was working. I buy them from those natural health food stores and it is rather expensive(about $13 for a 14oz jar) but like i said, it works for me. I still bathe him with cetaphil and then apply the VCO...I hope this helps someone...
Pamela on March 07, 2012:
Can I purchase the VCO (unrefined) from the cooking oil section of the grocery store?
LeliaCleveland on February 02, 2012:
The past two weeks using VCO my dry feet are now smooth. I use every night and every morning. It is great on my African American hair and I am not relaxing my hair as often. Dry itchy scalp-I like it. I am light-skinned and dark eczema spots have stopped itching and beginning to clear up on eyelids, feet, etc. I even started taking a tablespoon a day and plan on working a dose into my daily diet. My grandchildren suffer with eczema and my daughter plans to use it as well. Ohhhh! Dry scratchy elbows start softening after 3 days using VCO too! It want hurt to try it. I purchased mine in the vitamin section of Walmart--Spring Valley Vitamin Brand 12oz. jar.
AndreiBargas from Philippines on November 17, 2011:
I have been using VCO for my face dermatitis for over 5 weeks now. It stopped for a while but then it went back to some part of my face where it was before. I was planning on going back to the Derma this weekend, but then, I might give this natural route some more time. And this is because I really don't want to be dependent on meds! Good luck to us who have skin problems. We'll beat this!
Sana Laddy on November 08, 2011:
thx for the info, but i strongly apposed such treatment.
AM on November 07, 2011:
My son had terrible eczema on his knees and elbows. I mean a bright red that looked like 3rd degree burns. I got him to use the coconut oil and about a year ago. Nothing else he tried worked except for very expensive cream from the doctor but that didn't even help that much. I am pleased to say you can even tell he ever had eczema anymore. It's amazing he is afraid to stop using it and I don't blame him. I wish you all the same results. You have to be faithful putting it on everyday and give it a chance to work.
DD w Eczema on October 02, 2011:
We applied VCO on my daughter's face (where the eczema is), and her face now has had more rashes than before. Is this a typical result of applying VCO to skin..worse then better..but how do I know? I am sick worried. Pls help.
Joey from Michigan on August 11, 2011:
I use organic coconut oil for my skin and eczema, especially now that I'm going through topical steroid cream withdrawals after getting addicted to them. I wrote a hub about this. Good reading here!
Ahria Santos on February 22, 2011:
Hi there. Just new to this site. Been having eczema for few months now and it is really irritating. I'm thinking of going to dermatologist this weekend but decided to seek information regarding natural treatment for eczema first and hoola, I found this article. I've heard a lot about virgin coconut oil and I'm thinking of trying this. Can I ask for any suggestions on what brand I should buy? And where? Please help... Thank you so much! :)
Eczema Natural on November 14, 2010:
Fantastic post!! Coconut oil has been used by islanders in Oceania and Asia for centuries. It's crazy how we are only just catching on to something that has been used to treat skin and hair conditions for such a long time.
Look forward to more articles.
Itchy Von itcherson on November 01, 2010:
I've been using this for a couple of weeks to treat my painful eczema. It's not helping at all, I apply it several times a day and take roughly 1tb internally. I do love it as a natural moisturizer for my face and body though!
Amie Warren on October 13, 2010:
I just bought 54 ozs. of coconut oil, and am using it for everything. I didn't know for sure that it was good for eczema, but I do have it on the sides of my nose, so I've been putting it on and we'll see how it works. Bookmarking this page. Thanks!
matt on October 10, 2010:
I forgot to add, it is garenteed to work or money back. So if for some reason it does not work you can get a refund. if you do suffer from severe eczema like I have, then you have nothing to loose. Please post back with results if you do use it.
Matt on October 10, 2010:
Good article. I have suffered from severe eczema for over 10 years. To the point of cracking and bleeding all over my body. So I will try this. I also want to say. I have used thousands of dollars in ointments, creames, oils, speacial diets, etc. i have recently used a product, I first thought it couldn't be as good as some people have claimed. But I went ahead and ordered a set of the cream. In two weeks it cleared up my scaling skin, my cracks that where bleeding, dryness, iritation and inflimation. And it eliminated the severe itching that I suffered from.
I would scratch my skin raw and bloody from such extreme feeling of itches. I can tell you, in all my years of pain and suffering from this condition this is the ONLY, and I repeat only product that has truly shown results and worked. I noticed a difference in only two days of using it. By week 2 my skin was almost 100% cleared up. I had slight redness, and with another set of this cream cleared it up completely.
I now stock up on this for any break out I have and I put my life on this stuff that it will and can work for people suffering from eczema. The dermatologist told me I would never get rid of eczema and to take steroid shots to releive myself of the pain and itch. Please people, use coconut oil with this if you want, it cant hurt. But try this. http://www.littlebuddhaenterprises.com/
gajanis from Pakistan on August 22, 2010:
Very good article.....I will definitely try this to my long time eczema....hope to see better results.Thanks and good day.
manjusha on August 10, 2010:
oils have therapeutic properties and they really do work...
my granny was suffering from varicose veins and eczema... so she started using these natural oils...like coconut oil, vitamin e oil...all these oils give her lot of relief...
whichever oil which comes in pure form and is affordable and available can be used...it is good to massage for atleast 20 min to half an hour...twice a day....it can cure most skin problems..
Glenn Cunningham,(world class runner), his parents used to massage his legs regularly and he got his burnt legs back..which itself proves everything...
victor9011 on July 30, 2010:
The coconut methot really works to treat eczema.
aw on July 29, 2010:
Theres also so many benefits to drinking Vita Coco-also made from coconuts.
KIANSO on July 06, 2010:
I have found this article very informative and plan to try VCO remedy for my eczema. I will try to post later with my results.
Does anyone have further information regarding VCO for thyroid issues?? I read an earlier post and am interested in more information.
mommabearto3 on June 26, 2010:
We love VCO and have been consuming and using it externally for about 9 months now. The book "The coconut oil miracle" is very informative and goes into the chemistry of fats and how they are processed by the system. I actually lost 5 lbs the first month I started eating 3 Tbsp of VCO per day! I also use it as my deodorant mixed with a bit of baking soda. It works wonderfully since it naturally kills odor causing bacteria.
We have a daughter with eczema and though we have occasionally used VCO as a moisturizer for her, we don't need to very often since we discovered hazelwood necklaces. The wood has the natural property of absorbing excess acid because it is alkaline and seeks to balance out its Ph levels. We have had her wearing a hazelwood necklace for over 2 years now and she is eczema free because of it! Within 2 weeks of first putting it on her, her eczema went from rampant to virtually non-existant which was really surprising. We know it's the hazelwood that is keeping her clear because the few times we have taken it off and forgotten to put it back on (or when her necklace has become saturated) all her eczema comes back. It goes away again when we replace the necklace (usually within a day or so). We were definitely skeptical at first but now we are so thankful to have discovered this amazing natural treatment. My husband even wears one for his heartburn & ulcers and it's helped him tremendously too! You can learn more about how hazelwood works here: http://www.hazelaid.com/C_About_Hazelwood.html
Thanks for the great article!
lop on May 17, 2010:
Oh evening primrose does wonders too if virgin coconut is not available. I just used 2 capsules of vco with a drop of rose and patchouli. but u can just forget about essential oils coz some are not readily available. point is though it works. i gave the concoction i made to my bro who suffered from eczema on his hands and it healed in 3 days. :)
Julie on May 08, 2010:
I suffer from eczema on my face and the entire body; I just purchase in the store it call Natural coconut oil I don't know if this Natural coconut oil has the same benefit or it has to be Virgin oil ?, please help. Thanks
Ram on May 01, 2010:
thanks for the information about eczema...
now I know!!!!
I'm hoping that my problem about my skin can be cured fast..
Ram on May 01, 2010:
thanks for the information about eczema...
now I know!!!!
I'm hoping that my problem about my skin can be cured fast..
Natural Eczema Cure on March 09, 2010:
I am Cory Thiarello writing for FaceDoctor. Our highly beneficial eczema treatment and eczema products have found wide acceptance over the past years.
Stacey Henry on February 17, 2010:
Although I like the idea of using coconut oil to eliminate eczema it seems a little messy and labor intensive when compared to using a milled soap and a renewing lotion several times per day.
nora2biz from Bratislava on January 27, 2010:
Very nice article.
Eczema can be very annoying. That condition is some times very difficult to treat, because even dermatologist do not know the background of the eczema. To keep it moist is the best thing to do.
Sara on October 22, 2009:
Great article. Thanks for the info. Here also i found the ceramic ball that can clean clothes without detergents. It is chemical free, and hypoallergenic.
lisa on October 12, 2009:
A few of my family members suffer from mild eczema and we were always very cautious about using the right personal care or household items in order to lessen the skin irritation. A friend then told us that there is a product that can clean clothes without detergent.
Perfect for those who are concerned about irritation or skin allergies caused by laundry detergents
tdarby on September 02, 2009:
I did not know this about coconut oil. Great info. I keep bees and have been experimenting with some foot lotions made with the wax I harvest. I think I will add some coconut oil to my next batch.
Eczema Herbal on August 20, 2009:
good information on eczema and how coconut oil helps victims of eczema
Sexy jonty from India on August 14, 2009:
Very well written hub .....
very much informative ......
Thank you very much for your great hub, for good advice, good wishes and support. Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us.
rosariomontenegro from NEW YORK on June 20, 2009:
I had for decades a small spot between two toes which got itchy. I used antifungal creams for the longest time and the itchiness always always always came back.
Then one day I a few years ago I learned about coconut oil. I started using it every day after the shower. The itchiness never returned since then. I never again used any antifungal cream, only the coconut oil.
The virgin coconut oil is so antibacterial that I also abandoned entirely the use of deodorant, I replaced it with this soothing fantastic useful oil.
I'm glad that someone is telling the wonders of this kind natural helper, the coconut oil.
Itchy Skin Rash Tips on April 11, 2009:
Thanks for a great hub . I am glad you explained the difference between virgin and organic. Also the recipes are an extra plus. I know someone who this may benefit. Thanks.
WordWielder from Austin on March 15, 2009:
Thank you for such a thoroughly researched article. I have eczema and am glad to know there's a natural cure out there for me. I'll check it out! Thanks again and feel free to check out my hubs.
jaya on February 15, 2009:
Thanks for this info i have been using MeritVCO virgin coconut oil extracted from cocnut milk....its really good for skin..
Mohamed Fayez on February 05, 2009:
Since my childhood my mom apply coconut oil topically over the throat to soothe dry cough or eat us a thumb size of coconut kernel rosted over a fire, as well as applying the oil under the belly to releive of constipation.
Eczema Sufferer on January 13, 2009:
Great information. Thanks!
halimah on January 06, 2009:
i've been using and consumed vco for the past 4 years, it really do wonders to me and my baby...
Peter on November 15, 2008:
Sorry - one final question: I've noticed that my skin improves dramatically when I swim in certain places (P Redang, Malaysia; Sipaway, Phillipines) with the scabs disappearing after just two hours of being in the water, though the same doesn't happen in other places (P. Tioman; P Penang). The itchiness doesn't go away, though. Any ideas why the water in such places can be so 'powerful'?
Peter on November 15, 2008:
But aren't some subject to genetic issues here? My father and grandfather both suffer from Psoriasis and my eczema (termed 'Lichen Simplex Eczema' by a consultant specialist) started after an injury - a slight graze - when I was 18 (I'm now 38). The point I am questioning is whether some folk have skin which is more susceptible to Eczema than others.
That noted, the issue here is about solutions & having had a very bad night's sleep recently with no 'chance of parole' from anything offered by my Dr, I am interested in trying other ideas.
Best wishes to folk in Singapore - know the place well.
Wendy on November 09, 2008:
My 6 mo son has eczema and I tried using it for two days now. The first day, the redness go away.. but the next day it all came back. Do I need to continue using it?
Jerilee Wei from United States on July 02, 2008:
Very good article. I'm passing it on to my son who lives in Hong Kong. His young wife suffers terribly with eczema and we've been searching for something that will help her.
marketingsmarter on July 01, 2008:
Great article, Evelyn, My Dad suffers from eczema and has for years. The doctors have always prescribed cortisone cream for him, but we are trying to get him away from that type of medication and using something natural. Now I have some new information, I had no idea coconut oil was good for eczema. Now I just have to get him to use it.
desert blondie from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen on June 30, 2008:
Very informative! My daughter suffers from eczema, she has lots of allergies, lives in a dry climate, loves to be outdoors, and works in airplanes -- another dry climate! Learning about the 'processed' as opposed to the 'virgin' was very helpful!
vrajavala from Port St. Lucie on March 13, 2008:
You can make great smoothies with frozen bananas, spinach or kale and coconut milk. Coconut milk is way less expensive than coconut oil and has the same benefits for your skin.
Diane on February 25, 2008:
I have been using the extra virgin coconut oil along with Vitamin E oil for over a month now and it has improved my skin alot! I have also been doing an epsom salt and tea tree oil bath with very tepid water and with this regimine I have very little itching and my skin has visually improved.
Evelyn Lim (author) from Singapore on January 28, 2008:
You are welcome :-)
ozepro from Australia on January 21, 2008:
Thanks for the info.
Mr Nice from North America on January 21, 2008:
Sure it is good thyroid plus scalp and hair too.
dafla on January 20, 2008:
I love VCO! It's good for so many things! I started using it for thyroid problems, and now I use it for so many things.
Tony Sky from London UK on January 20, 2008:
I have a friend who has tried getting rid of his eczema for so long so i will send him this page to see if this helps.