Home Healthy Nutrition Tips 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

16 min read

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

Despite the supply of medicine with proven efficacy for eczema, like topical steroids, many sufferers search out pure options. Which plant, then, ought to be used for which skin illness? In the case of eczema, two appeared to beat out placebo. One was licorice root. As you’ll be able to 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 help 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 might be thought-about an efficient eczema remedy agent.

The other successful 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’ll be able to see at 0:49 in my video. So, it works better 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 asked sufferers to drink four cups of oolong tea day-after-day for a month. Most patients “showed marked to moderate improvement,” beginning after one or two weeks, after which most remained higher even five months after they stopped. The drawback is there was no management group, so we don’t know how many would have gotten higher on their own. But, since consuming tea is healthy anyway, why not give it a attempt? 

Let’s get again to topical remedies. As you possibly can see at 1:43 in my video, a vitamin B12 cream showed higher results than the same cream without vitamin B12. Most of the patients and docs rated the results of the B12 cream as “good,” which was better than they scored the placebo cream. 

Regardless of what topical agent you employ, steroid or in any other case, “in the beginning, it is essential that the 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 effective, nevertheless it “is greasy and can be messy,” so what about something like coconut oil, which is less greasy? It was found to improve pores and skin dryness, although no higher than mineral oil, which is cheaper. Is mineral oil protected, though?

Exposure to mineral oil was found to be associated with rheumatoid arthritis, however that was occupational publicity to industrial mineral oils, like hydraulic fluid. The similar group of researchers subsequently found that cosmetic grade mineral oil did not appear to carry the identical danger. In basic, topically utilized mineral oil shouldn’t present any health danger, but that doesn’t mean…you possibly can 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 prone to entrapment within the zipper of careless young boys, notably those that fail to wear undergarments. Understandably, this mishap provokes misery within the unfortunate victim, in his mother and father, and finally within the health care supplier charged with the task of liberating the organ.” A advisable textbook strategy is surgical procedure, consider it or not, but in case you merely dose liberally with some mineral oil, you’ll be able to simply slip the zipper off and “physical and psychologic trauma is minimized for all parties involved…”

But, simply because mineral oil works as well as coconut oil for dry skin, doesn’t imply it works as properly 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 remedy. Thus, amongst pediatric patients with delicate to average eczema, topical software of virgin coconut oil was superior to mineral oil, however what about compared to virgin olive oil? As you possibly can see at 4:19 in my video, olive oil worked, dropping eczema severity, however coconut oil labored better. 

As I mentioned previously in my video What about Coconuts, Coconut Milk, and Coconut Oil MCTs?, we all know that coconut oil has lots of saturated fat, so we don’t need to eat it, however the saturated fats isn’t absorbed into your pores and skin until you are a baby, when your skin is so thin that you would be able to truly take up saturated coconut fats into your bloodstream. But, in older youngsters and adults, utilizing coconut oil in your skin or hair is considered protected. 

What about treating eczema with simply plain Vaseline? People with eczema already know it may be expensive to cope with. The average out-of-pocket costs may be $274 a month, which is greater than a third of a typical family’s disposable revenue. In distinction, you possibly can rub a child from head to toe with petroleum jelly for about four cents, whereas coconut oil or a number of the fancier over-the-counter moisturizers might be many occasions costlier, although not as dangerous as some prescription moisturizers that can value greater than a hundred dollars per tube and work no higher than the over-the-counter stuff, as you possibly can see at 5:50 in my video. There is simply no evidence “prescription device moisturizers” are superior to the normal, petroleum jelly-based over-the-counter merchandise that can be 65 occasions cheaper.

Doesn’t virgin coconut oil have lively elements, though, whereas petroleum jelly is simply inert? Vaseline has been round since 1872, nevertheless it took the scientific group 144 years to put it to the check. We now know it isn’t inert in any respect, significantly upregulating genes that struggle an infection, inducing the expression of genes that help with barrier perform, growing the thickness of the protective outer layer of skin, and actively decreasing inflammation. Yes, however is it protected? Not… when you inject it into your penis. (What is it with males injecting stuff into their penis?!) “In the less extreme instances, the problem [this self-injection creates] might be solved by primary surgery. Otherwise, it might require major reconstruction. Evidently, “Vaseline self-injection of the penis” is completed rather a lot by prisoners, giving an entire new which means to the term “Jailhouse Rock.” An unbelievable one in six inmates at the largest jail in Hungary admitted to “Vaseline self-injection.” Or how about actual rocks, the surgical implantation of stones in the penis, which has also been reported? What about injecting industrial silicone? (I’ll by no means take a look at silicone caulk the same method ever once more.) When men have been requested why they have been injecting cod liver oil, a fishy substance, into their penises, most defined it was because they felt underendowed, as you possibly can see at 7:40 in my video, however one man stated he “just want[ed] to try.” Um…okay. Why inject cod liver oil into your penis, although, when you’ll be able to simply inject the mercury immediately and reduce out the middlefish?

Back to eczema! Based on 77 research of moisturizers for eczema, researchers “did not find reliable evidence that one moisturizer is best than another,” although a consensus of specialists concluded that petroleum jelly could also be greatest for skin barrier perform 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 topic of my video, Eczema Treatment with Evening Primrose Oil vs. Borage Oil vs. Hempseed Oil.

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

In health, 

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t but, you’ll be able to subscribe to my free videos here and watch my stay shows:

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