Coconut oil has moisturizing characteristics that can be beneficial for your skin and hair in addition to being a healthy cooking choice.
Even the possibility exists that certain of its active components may lessen scarring.
The evidence is promising, but additional study is required.
Continue reading to find out more about how it may influence various scar types, how to apply it at home, potential side effects, and more.
What are the alleged advantages?
The majority of coconut oil research focuses on wound healing and dermatitis (eczema). Coconut oil can be helpful in both situations by serving as a thick, hydrating barrier while the skin recovers. Theoretically, these outcomes could support early scar therapy.
The formation of collagen is also claimed to be enhanced by coconut oil. By tying new skin tissue together, boosting collagen in the skin may reduce scarring in addition to helping with fine wrinkles. Making your skin tone more even is said to have further advantages and may lessen redness brought on by scars and other hyperpigmentation.
Although coconut oil marketers frequently tout these claims, more study is required to support the claims. The fact that it naturally contains a lot of vitamin E is a major factor in these alleged advantages. It is yet unknown whether coconut oil as a whole, as opposed to just one of its components, can effectively reduce scarring.
What does the science indicate about the effects of coconut oil on scarring?
Scars are complicated, and perhaps even more so is how to treat them. It’s crucial to be aware that research on the effects of coconut oil is, at best, conflicting if you’re thinking about using it as an alternative treatment. The oil may occasionally do more damage than good.
Always with your doctor before using complementary medicine. Any possible adverse effects and other interactions might be discussed.
After an acne eruption, acne scars can form. The collagen fibers surrounding the pore break down, causing this to occur. Common forms include rolling, boxcars, and ice pick scars. You may be thinking about using coconut oil to increase collagen and heal the skin. Some people even attempt to remove acne scars by using oil.
Vitamin E, an antioxidant, is one of the main components of coconut oil. Research on its application to scars and other dermatologic disorders, however, was deemed inconclusive. This wasn’t based on a coconut oil study; it was based on an analysis of 65 years‘ worth of vitamin E research. Although applying vitamin E is a common practice, further research is required to demonstrate its effectiveness.
Another component of coconut oil called lauric acid has been investigated for its potential to lower Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria in some types of inflammatory acne. Future acne outbreaks and the scars they frequently leave behind may be avoided as a result.
Stretch marks develop when the dermis, the middle layer of skin, stretches quickly. Pregnancy or other types of weight gain may be the cause of this. Stretch marks are challenging to remove once they have appeared.
Over time, stretch marks may gradually lose some of their pigment and become less apparent. You may be wondering if coconut oil can hasten these results, though. A review of trials on the use of different oils to cure stretch marks revealed no discernible impact on these kinds of scars. If coconut oil specifically helps with stretch marks, more study is required.
Atrophic scars are skin-colored depressions. Some of these, such as icepick or boxcar scars, can result from acne. Others may result from injuries or the chickenpox virus. These scars might be circular or oval in shape, and they can have hyperpigmentation or not.
There is a suggestion that coconut oil can increase the skin’s collagen production. It would seem that more collagen could smooth out the depression marks in your skin if you have atrophic scars. This notion has to be supported by research.
Scar tissue develops whenever your skin is injured while new, permanent tissues are being produced. An even more extreme example is surgery. To assist reduce scarring, some patients utilize vitamin E preparations as soon as a surgical wound has healed.
Research on the use of coconut oil to heal surgical scars is conflicting. Vitamin E deteriorated the appearance of surgical scars on human participants, according to a 1999 study.
These outcomes were different from those of a 2010 rat study, which noted the healing of wounds after applying coconut oil. Researchers in this study hypothesizes that the oil caused a rise in collagen formation, which sped up the healing of the skin tissues.
Losses of collagen are greatest in hypertrophic scars. Greater amounts of scar tissue develop in a thick area when your wound mends. Although vitamin E research for hypertrophic scars is conflicting, coconut oil is supposedly helpful in reducing collagen losses.
On the other hand, different research on post-operative scarring discovered that vitamin E helped stop keloids from forming following surgery. Types of hypertrophic scars called keloids appear as masses of elevated tissues in a specific place.
More research on coconut oil is required in light of the conflicting findings about hypertrophic scarring and keloids caused by vitamin E.
Scars from injuries
Scars from traumatic injuries known as contracture scars are still visible. You might not only be dealing with the scar itself, but also with the area, which can be unpleasant. Scar contractures are typically treated with skin grafting and other surgical techniques due to their severity.
You might be thinking about using coconut oil to avoid scarring following a severe injury. According to reports from earlier studies, vitamin E had no discernible impact on contracture scars. This finding needs to be updated or confirmed by another study.
How to best apply the oil
Over-the-counter stores sell coconut oil. It is obtainable both in pure form and as an ingredient in goods. Use the product at least twice daily, in the morning and at night, for optimal benefits. For proper dose, follow all product instructions.
However, you should first perform a patch test before proceeding. This assists in determining your oil sensitivity.
How to do it:
- Use a tiny bit on your forearm.
- Apply a bandage to the affected region.
- The product is probably safe to use elsewhere if, within 24 hours, you don’t suffer any itchiness or inflammation.
You must always apply sunscreen, regardless of the type of coconut oil you select. This not only shields your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, but it also keeps your scars from deepening and becoming more obvious.
Potential negative consequences and dangers
Coconut oil can have negative effects on some users, just like any other product used in skin care. The only way to know how your skin will respond to the oil is to do a skin patch test. If you put the oil on surgical scars, contact dermatitis can be more likely to develop.
If you have a coconut allergy, you shouldn’t use coconut oil.
When should you visit a dermatologist?
Despite being popularly regarded as a natural product, coconut oil’s effects can be equally as potent as those of conventional cosmetics. Before using any substance to heal your scars at home, it is advisable to consult your dermatologist. They might be able to offer suggestions for better options.
If you decide to use coconut oil, keep an eye out for any odd symptoms. Additionally, if you feel any irritation, stop using it immediately, and if your symptoms don’t go away, consult a doctor.