Virgin coconut oil is superior to mineral oil for lessening both the signs and symptoms of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis in children and senile xerosis in elderly adults, according to findings from separate randomized controlled studies.
In the pediatric atopic dermatitis study, 117 children were randomized to receive 8 weeks of twice-daily topical application of either virgin coconut oil (VCO) or mineral oil. Of those treated with VCO, 93% experienced improvement on the Scoring Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) index, compared with 53% of those treated with mineral oil. An excellent response, defined as 75% or greater improvement on SCORAD, occurred in 46% and 19% of the patients in the VCO and mineral oil groups, respectively, Dr. Mara Therese P. Evangelista reported at the annual meeting of the American Contact Dermatitis Society.
The children treated with topical VCO were 85% more likely to experience treatment success than those treated with mineral oil, said Dr. Evangelista, a resident at Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center, Manila, Philippines.
In this double-blind study, the VCO was significantly more effective than mineral oil on all subjective and objective measures, including SCORAD, transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance, she noted.
Similarly, in the senile xerosis study, 148 patients with mild to moderate leg xerosis were randomized to receive 2 weeks of twice-daily application of either VCO or mineral oil. The therapeutic response rate was 32.1% in those treated with VCO, compared with 8.9% for those treated with mineral oil, Dr. Mariecon Escuadro reported in a poster at the meeting.
See also: Coconut Oil for Skin Health
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