The Relationship Between Virgin Coconut Oil and Its Effects on Scarring

The Relationship Between Virgin Coconut Oil and Its Effects on Scarring

Moisturising Coconut Oil

For centuries, coconut oil has been hailed and highly regarded for its medicinal and beauty benefits such as moisturising and scar minimising. While further research is required on the subject, the evidence is indeed promising. Learn how this tropical fruit Read on to learn how it may affect different types of scars, how to use it at home, possible side effects, and more.


Most research that studied coconut has been in relation to wounds and dermatitis (eczema), its results revealed that in both cases, the tropical fruits acts as a thick, moisturising barrier while the skin heals. Its moisturising abilities are believed to minimise early scar treatment. Besides that, coconut oil boosts collagen production, helps with fine lines and could also minimise scarring by binding new skin tissues together. The inclusion of coconut oil as an ingredient in various skincare products is owed to its ability to even out skin tone, scar-related redness and other hyperpigmentation. And these are believed to be related to its naturally high vitamin E content. Be it coconut oil itself or its individual components, coconut may certainly help with scarring.

Research findings on coconut oil’s effects on scarring

Scars tend to be complicated and so is its treatment. If you’re considering coconut oil as an alternative treatment, proceed with caution, as the yield of research on coconut oil on scarring is mixed at best.

Acne scars

Acne scars commonly leave their mark after a breakout and can deter one’s confidence. Scars form when there’s a breakdown of the collagen fibres surrounding the pore and ice pick, boxcar and rolling scars are the most common remnants of acne outbreaks. Considering coconut oil’s ability to boost collagen and repair the skin, thanks to its inherent antioxidant vitamin E, you might opt for this oil as an alternative treatment. Some people even use this tropical oil to get rid of dark spots from acne. While vitamin E application on scars is a popular practice, research on coconut oil’s use on scars and dermatological issues were inconclusive.

Stretch marks

Stretch marks are caused by the stretching of the dermis at a rapid rate. There are a couple of factors that cause stretch marks, including pregnancy or other weight gain. Stretch marks are rather difficult to rid once they form, however, over time, the colour naturally fades and becomes less visible. Various studies on different oils to treat stretch marks didn’t show significant results. Further research on the specific effects of coconut oil on stretch marks needs to be carried out.

Atrophic scars

Atrophic scars are types of scars that are indented. Some of these are remnants of acne in the form of icepick or boxcar scars, while others occur from chickenpox virus or injuries. These types of scars form due to the skin’s inability to regenerate new tissues. Atrophic scars are identified through its oval or round-shaped appearance which comes with or without hyperpigmentation. Research has affirmed coconut oil’s ability in producing more collagen in the skin which in theory, would mean that increased collagen could even out the depression marks on the skin.

Surgical scars

Surgical scars, as its moniker implies, come from surgery. When your skin is wounded through means such as surgery, scar tissue form while new permanent tissues are being generated. Some people hastily turn to vitamin E products post healing of the wound to avoid scarring. There are mixed results yielded from the research on coconut oil for surgical scars. In one study, vitamin E aggravated the appearance of surgical scar on human participants while the results from a 2010 study showed contrasts. Improvements were observed on the wounds that were covered with coconut oil, believed to be attributed to increased collagen production, which helped the skin tissues heal quicker.

Hypertrophic scars

Hypertrophic scars are thick, raised scars that are an abnormal response to wound healing. These happen following trauma on the skin, burns or surgical incisions in areas with most collagen losses. Similar to surgical scars, simultaneous to wound healing, a larger amount of scar tissue forms in a thick part of the skin. Coconut oil is befitting the situation especially since it helps with collagen losses, however, the effects of vitamin E on hypertrophic scars are variegated.

Keloid scars

On the contrary to the above statement, a different study revealed that vitamin E did help prevent post-surgery keloids from forming. Keloids area derivative of hypertrophic scars that appear raised and thick, in any given area. Given the mixed reviews of coconut oil’s vitamin E on hypertrophic scarring and keloids more research needs to be done on coconut oil.

Contracture scars

Often developed after traumatic injuries such as a burn, contracture scars leave the skin and its surrounding area not only painful, but tightened too. Due to their severity, scar contractures are usually treated with skin grafting and other surgical procedures. You could go the homoeopathic route and consider coconut oil to prevent scarring from injury. Reports found that vitamin E, an ingredient embodied intrinsically in coconut oil, didn't show a discernible effect on contracture scars.

Usage Method

Take the guessing game out of purchasing coconut oil and click here to get one for yourself. To yield the best results, apply the product a minimum of twice a day, morning and night.  Read the given instructions for proper dosage.

To do this:

  • Apply a small amount on your forearm.
  • Cover the area with a bandage.
  • If you don’t experience any irritation or inflammation within 24 hours, the product is likely safe to use elsewhere.

Products to try

There are various options to consider when it comes to purchasing coconut oil, but try pure coconut oil. You can also try coconut oil-infused skincare products like the following: