Home Nutrition Food What’s Best for Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis): Coconut Oil vs. Mineral Oil vs. Vaseline

What’s Best for Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis): Coconut Oil vs. Mineral Oil vs. Vaseline

15 min read

Natural topical cures for eczema, together with licorice root gel, St. John’s Wort cream, and emollients akin to coconut oil, mineral oil, and petroleum jelly, are put to the check.

Despite the provision of medication with confirmed efficacy for eczema, like topical steroids, many sufferers search out pure alternate options. Which plant, then, must be used for which pores and skin illness? In the case of eczema, two appeared to beat out placebo. One was licorice root. As you may see at 0:24 in my video Eczema Treatment with Coconut Oil vs. Mineral Oil vs. Vaseline, smearing on a placebo gel didn’t seem to assist a lot with clearing redness or itchiness after one week or two weeks, however a 1 % licorice gel and particularly a 2 % gel did appear to clear the signs in most sufferers. The researchers concluded that licorice extracts may very well be thought-about an efficient eczema therapy agent.

The different profitable trial was with a St. John’s wort cream, displaying a discount in eczema severity scores week by week superior to that of placebo, as you may see at 0:49 in my video. So, it really works higher than nothing, however does it work higher than medicine? Better than the topical steroids? That we don’t know. Sometimes, the medicine don’t work on so-called recalcitrant atopic dermatitis, so researchers in Japan requested sufferers to drink 4 cups of oolong tea daily for a month. Most sufferers “showed marked to moderate improvement,” beginning after one or two weeks, after which most remained higher even 5 months after they stopped. The drawback is there was no management group, so we don’t know what number of would have gotten higher on their very own. But, since consuming tea is healthy anyway, why not give it a strive? 

Let’s get again to topical remedies. As you may see at 1:43 in my video, a vitamin B12 cream confirmed higher outcomes than the identical cream with out vitamin B12. Most of the sufferers and docs rated the outcomes of the B12 cream as “good,” which was higher than they scored the placebo cream. 

Regardless of what topical agent you utilize, steroid or in any other case, “at the start, it is important that the pores and skin barrier is protected and maintained with using emollients,” which means moisturizers, ideally a few times a day, particularly proper after showering, to lock within the moisture. Petroleum jelly, like Vaseline, is very efficient, however it “is greasy and can be messy,” so what about one thing like coconut oil, which is much less greasy? It was discovered to enhance pores and skin dryness, although no higher than mineral oil, which is cheaper. Is mineral oil protected, although?

Exposure to mineral oil was discovered to be related to rheumatoid arthritis, however that was occupational publicity to industrial mineral oils, like hydraulic fluid. The similar group of researchers subsequently discovered that beauty grade mineral oil didn’t appear to hold the identical threat. In common, topically utilized mineral oil shouldn’t present any health threat, however that doesn’t imply…you may safely inject it into your penis, as that “may have devastating cosmetic and sexual function consequences.” There is, nevertheless, evidently one good use for mineral oil on the penis, and that’s for “penile zipper entrapment.” Skin of the penis “is vulnerable to entrapment within the zipper of careless younger boys, significantly those that fail to put on undergarments. Understandably, this mishap provokes misery within the unlucky sufferer, in his mother and father, and finally within the health care supplier charged with the duty of liberating the organ.” A really useful textbook method is surgical procedure, consider it or not, however in case you merely dose liberally with some mineral oil, you may simply slip the zipper off and “physical and psychologic trauma is minimized for all parties involved…”

But, simply because mineral oil works in addition to coconut oil for dry pores and skin, doesn’t imply it works as nicely for eczema. Head-to-head topical virgin coconut oil works higher than topical mineral oil at reducing eczema severity, with twice as many youngsters experiencing a superb response after two months therapy. Thus, amongst pediatric sufferers with delicate to average eczema, topical utility of virgin coconut oil was superior to mineral oil, however what about in comparison with virgin olive oil? As you may see at 4:19 in my video, olive oil labored, dropping eczema severity, however coconut oil labored higher. 

As I mentioned beforehand in my video What about Coconuts, Coconut Milk, and Coconut Oil MCTs?, we all know that coconut oil has lots of saturated fats, so we don’t wish to devour it, however the saturated fats isn’t absorbed into your pores and skin until you’re a baby, when your pores and skin is so skinny which you can truly soak up saturated coconut fats into your bloodstream. But, in older youngsters and adults, utilizing coconut oil in your pores and skin or hair is taken into account protected. 

What about treating eczema with simply plain Vaseline? People with eczema already know it may be costly to take care of. The common out-of-pocket prices might be $274 a month, which is greater than a 3rd of a typical household’s disposable revenue. In distinction, you may rub a child from head to toe with petroleum jelly for about 4 cents, whereas coconut oil or a number of the fancier over-the-counter moisturizers might be many instances dearer, although not as dangerous as some prescription moisturizers that may price greater than 100 {dollars} per tube and work no higher than the over-the-counter stuff, as you may see at 5:50 in my video. There is merely no proof “prescription device moisturizers” are superior to the normal, petroleum jelly-based over-the-counter merchandise that may be 65 instances cheaper.

Doesn’t virgin coconut oil have lively elements, although, whereas petroleum jelly is simply inert? Vaseline has been round since 1872, however it took the scientific group 144 years to place it to the check. We now know it isn’t inert in any respect, considerably upregulating genes that battle an infection, inducing the expression of genes that assist with barrier operate, rising the thickness of the protecting outer layer of pores and skin, and actively decreasing irritation. Yes, however is it protected? Not… in case you inject it into your penis. (What is it with males injecting stuff into their penis?!) “In the much less extreme circumstances, the issue [this self-injection creates] may very well be solved by fundamental surgical procedure. Otherwise, it could require main reconstruction. Evidently, “Vaseline self-injection of the penis” is completed rather a lot by prisoners, giving an entire new which means to the time period “Jailhouse Rock.” An unbelievable one in six inmates on the largest jail in Hungary admitted to “Vaseline self-injection.” Or how about precise rocks, the surgical implantation of stones within the penis, which has additionally been reported? What about injecting industrial silicone? (I’ll by no means take a look at silicone caulk the identical means ever once more.) When males had been requested why they had been injecting cod liver oil, a fishy substance, into their penises, most defined it was as a result of they felt underendowed, as you may see at 7:40 in my video, however one man mentioned he “just want[ed] to try.” Um…okay. Why inject cod liver oil into your penis, although, when you may simply inject the mercury immediately and reduce out the middlefish?

Back to eczema! Based on 77 research of moisturizers for eczema, researchers “didn’t discover dependable proof that one moisturizer is healthier than one other,” although a consensus of specialists concluded that petroleum jelly could also be greatest for pores and skin barrier operate safety.

What about eating coconut oil? See Coconut Oil and the Boost in HDL “Good” Cholesterol and What About Coconuts, Coconut Milk, and Coconut Oil MCTs?.

What concerning the swallowing oil dietary supplements? That was the subject of my video, Eczema Treatment with Evening Primrose Oil vs. Borage Oil vs. Hempseed Oil.

I’ve extra on eczema arising, so ensure you’re subscribed so that you don’t miss something.

In health, 

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t but, you may subscribe to my free movies right here and watch my dwell shows:

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