Why coconut oil is great for cancer scars

Coconut oil has a whole host of benefits and is a great oil for your skin. And, as we discussed earlier (see Can you make scars look better?) one of the best things you can do for your scars is gentle massage using a moisturiser or oil. But only do this once the scar is sufficiently healed. (Ask your nurse if you’re not sure and always ask if you’re still undergoing treatment.)

I often get asked if there’s a particular sort of moisturiser or oil I’d recommend. Well, my surgeon very clearly told me that there’s no one miracle cure and I found his advice to be correct. What’s important is to find an oil that works for you and to moisturise regularly to help your skin recover. Remember, scars heal from the inside as well as the outside so you need to get your diet right. And since everyone’s skin is different, what works for me might not work for you. That said, I wanted to share with you that I found coconut oil worked really well for me and explain why. I’d appreciate it if readers who had success with other oils – I hear argon oil is also great! – share those successes with us via the comments.

So coconut oil is a great oil to use on scars. The reason is that it has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, and it’s a light oil that’s easy to rub in. Some coconut oil can be quite expensive, but I didn’t spend a fortune on it – important for cancer survivors as many will be financially challenged due to the monetary impact of the illness. Over here in the UK there’s a shop called Home Bargains and I simply used their coconut oil at 99p per tub (a bargain!). It’s called ‘Just Coco: Coconut Oil’ and it’s made by MPM Consumer Products. It comes in a handy 125ml tub with a bronze lid. A tub goes a long, long way. This one does contain perfume so isn’t for consumption and if you’re really sensitive always patch test it first in case the perfume irritates your skin.

I found this stuff to be great – it’s solid and it melts when you touch it. You can use it on your poor dead hair that needs a bit of tender loving care. Simply massage in, put on a scarf and leave on for an hour or two before washing out. You can also use it all over your poor dead skin, including on scar tissue (remember no putting anything on until it’s healed enough or the doctor/nurse says yes). It’s even good for sore lips instead of lip salve.

You really don’t need a fancy and expensive treatment, coconut oil gives fantastic results. But I wanted to find out why coconut oil is so good for your skin. And here’s what I found:

  • it contains lauric acid, which is an antibacterial agent. Using coconut oil for both cleansing and moisturising can keep bacterial populations under control. This is important because you don’t want skin infections, which delay full healing and increase scarring
  • coconut oil is also antifungal, as a result of both the lauric acid and capric acid it contains. If you’ve developed skin problems due to a deficient immune system or poor nutrition – such as athlete’s foot, for example, or crumbling nails – applying coconut oil can really help with recovery
  • it contains triglycerides which, in turn, attract protein molecules and help repair the collagen layer – essential for wound healing and scars
  • it has anti-inflammatory properties, which will help reduce the inflammation around your scar and start getting things back to normal.

Confused about where to find it? If you don’t have a Home Bargains, or they haven’t got any in stock, you can order coconut oil from Amazon or you’ll often find it in the cooking section of your local supermarket. Don’t let that put you off: if you can eat it then it’s good enough to put on your skin. And another great benefit of coconut oil? You’ll smell all lovely and coconutty!



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