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How should you use coconut oil to help with psoriasis symptoms?

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  • For psoriasis medications like steroids to work well, it's best to get rid of hard scales so they can get to the skin below. Coconut oil can help soften and loosen the scales first. Scalp psoriasis tends to have the hardest scales because your hair traps them in place. They can get bigger and tougher over time. Here's how to use coconut oil to help with the scales on your scalp: Spread the oil over your scalp, focusing on scaly areas.
  • Gently massage the oil into the scales.
  • Wrap your scalp in a towel or shower cap.
  • Leave it on for 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Wash your hair and scalp with shampoo. After a treatment with virgin cold-pressed coconut oil (VCO), it should be easier to take scales off gently. Do it while your scalp is still damp and the scales are the softest and loosest. Then:
  • Put a plastic comb flat against the scale and rub it in a circle. As the scale loosens, try to comb it out of your hair.
  • Wash your hair to remove any leftover scales. Don't pull too hard or too quickly. Doing so can hurt your skin or make you lose hair. After you've taken the scaly layer off, apply your prescription treatment.

SOURCES:

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "Coconut Oil -- What Is It All About?"

Dermatology World: "The Pantry as Medicine Cabinet."

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Alternative, Complementary, and Forgotten Remedies for Atopic Dermatitis."

International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition : "Antioxidant capacity and phenolic acids of virgin coconut oil."

Journal of Dermatological Science : "Recent advances in atopic dermatitis and psoriasis: Genetic background, barrier function, and therapeutic targets."

The Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance: "Scalp Psoriasis."

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on January 29, 2019

SOURCES:

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "Coconut Oil -- What Is It All About?"

Dermatology World: "The Pantry as Medicine Cabinet."

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Alternative, Complementary, and Forgotten Remedies for Atopic Dermatitis."

International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition : "Antioxidant capacity and phenolic acids of virgin coconut oil."

Journal of Dermatological Science : "Recent advances in atopic dermatitis and psoriasis: Genetic background, barrier function, and therapeutic targets."

The Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance: "Scalp Psoriasis."

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on January 29, 2019

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