Coconut Oil For Scars: An Effective Remedy?

Understand why and how this oil may improve the texture and appearance of scars.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Priya Gill, MBBCH, MRCP Dr. Priya Gill Dr. Priya GillMBBCH, MRCP facebook_icon
Written by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
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Scars are very common as they are a part of the body’s natural healing process. They can be caused by injuries, surgeries, burns, skin disorders such as acne, and other types of physical traumas. Since scarring is so common, there is a significant demand for effective therapeutic solutions. People swear by coconut oil for scars as it is believed to reduce the visibility of scars and enhance the skin’s overall appearance. Could this be true? Let ‘s see what we can find out!

protip_icon Trivia
Coconut oil that you can use to treat scars is extracted from the coconut palm fruit’s milk, meat, and wick.

Coconut Oil For Scars And Wounds: A Look At Its All-Round Benefits

Woman applying coconut oil to heal scars
Image: Shutterstock

Coconut oil has a hydrating and moisturizing effect on the skin (particularly dry skin) and is an excellent oil for skin massages (1). Moreover, it can prevent dryness and flaking of the skin and is thus extensively used in skin care. This moisturizing property of coconut oil may help with early scar treatment, especially if the skin is dry and damaged.

The same research claims that when applied to infected areas, coconut oil forms a chemical layer and protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Hence, coconut oil is highly effective on bruises as it can accelerate the healing process of damaged tissues (1).

Another study suggests that coconut oil can boost collagen production and help the skin tissues heal quickly (2). This can encourage new tissue development. Additionally, coconut oil can even out the skin tone and reduce redness caused by scarring. However, more research is warranted in this regard.

The takeaway: According to research, this powerhouse of an ingredient can assist in scar-healing and can be used as a therapeutic agent (3). Data suggests that it could be included as an active ingredient in wound management.

Sara Grace, a YouTuber, enthusiastically shares various uses of coconut oil, emphasizing its versatility and affordability. Highlighting personal success, she asserted coconut oil significantly aided in healing acne and scarring. She says, “I thought smearing oil on acne is not going to help heal it y’all I swear I started just washing my face and using this as my moisturizer everyday and as a treatment at night and I swear to you it healed my acne and it healed the scarring (i).”

So, how does coconut oil hold up to vitamin E? Let’s find out in the section below.

protip_icon Did You Know?
The practice of applying coconut oil to the body has a long history. Indian Ayurvedic medicine from 1500 BC documents its use for skin healing purposes.

Coconut Oil Vs. Vitamin E For Scars

Coconut oil and vitamin E are popular natural remedies for scar treatment and skin healing, with each having distinct characteristics. Known for its antioxidant properties, vitamin E can help protect and repair skin cells from damage (4). Applying vitamin E oil or cream directly onto a scar can moisturize the area, reducing redness and itching; however, scientific evidence of such is limited.

Coconut oil, on the other hand, is primarily a moisturizer for soft skin. Its lauric acid content gives it anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial attributes that can potentially reduce redness and prevent scar-related infections (3). There is limited scientific evidence supporting its scar-reduction properties as it keeps the skin hydrated, thereby indirectly aiding scar healing and restoring overall skin health.

Read on to learn more about using coconut oil for treating scars.

How To Treat Scars Using Coconut Oil

Woman applying coconut oil to a scar
Image: Shutterstock

You can use coconut oil twice a day – once in the morning and once at night. Start by doing a patch test to see if you are allergic to the oil:

  • Apply a small amount of the product to your forearm.
  • Use a bandage to cover the area.
  • If you do not experience any irritation, redness, or inflammation within 24 hours, you can continue using it.

DIY Recipe Using Coconut Oil For Treating Scars

Heated coconut oil as DIY recipe for treating scars
Image: Shutterstock
  1. Heat a few tablespoons of coconut oil to ensure it is liquefied.
  2. Gently massage the oil in circular motions into the scar for at least 10 minutes. You may even add some other carrier oils or essential oils.
  3. Let the skin absorb the oil for at least sixty minutes.
  4. Repeat this process at least 2 to 4 times a day for the best results.

Pro tip: Home remedies such as coconut oil cannot be a replacement for sunscreen. Make sure to wear an SPF 30 (or higher) sunscreen every day to prevent sun damage and keep your scars from darkening.

When You Should Seek Professional Treatment

Coconut oil in a glass bottle
Image: Shutterstock

Coconut oil is a natural product. But you still should consult your dermatologist before using it (or any other ingredient) to treat your scars at home.

Do a patch test to see if you are allergic to coconut oil. If you experience any irritation or redness, stop using immediately and seek professional help.

Possible Side Effects And Risks

Woman with skin allergy due to coconut oil
Image: Shutterstock

Coconut oil is generally well-tolerated among people of all age groups and in all skin types. However, some people can experience extreme reactions if they are allergic to coconuts (do a patch test first). Also, extra virgin coconut oil contains high amounts of antioxidants, such as vitamin E and may cause contact dermatitisi  A general term that describes a common skin irritation that usually involves itchy, dry skin or a rash in response to an allergy. when applied to surgical scars (4), (5).

Infographic: Coconut Oil For Scars: Benefits And Tips To Use It

Scars can have a long-lasting effect on your confidence. While you cannot completely get rid of them, you can try a few remedies to improve their appearance. Coconut oil is now recognized as a safe and efficient method to help with managing scars and boost overall skin health. Check out the infographic below to learn more.

coconut oil for scars: benefits and tips to use it (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Scarring is a common issue and occurs during the body’s natural healing process. Although all scars do not completely fade away, you can use natural anti-inflammatory and wound healing remedies to reduce the appearance of scars. Using coconut oil for scars is one of the most effective ways to get rid of these stubborn scars.

Coconut oil helps boost collagen production and moisturize your skin, reducing scars, and improving skin texture. It also helps improve skin issues, such as eczema, psoriasis, and hyperpigmentation. Since there is not enough research to back this claim, you may consult your dermatologist before using this oil for scar treatment. Always do a patch test before you incorporate it into your treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does coconut oil fade old scars, dark spots, and acne scars?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that coconut oil may help fade scars and dark spots as it keeps your skin moisturized and boosts collagen production to stimulate cellular turnover. However, we have not added it as a beauty tip as there is no scientific evidence to support the claim.

How long does coconut oil take to brighten skin?

Coconut oil may take at least one month to make your skin visibly brighter.

Can I use coconut oil on my skin every day?

You may use it sparingly to moisturize dry and chafed skin. Since it is a comedogenici  A product or a drug that clogs the skin pores by blocking them and results in blackhead formation and pimples. oil, it may cause breakouts. Therefore, avoid using coconut oil if you have oily and acne-prone skin.

Can I apply coconut oil to face overnight?

No. You shouldn’t leave coconut oil on your skin overnight as it is a comedogenic ingredient and may cause breakout by clogging your pores.

Can coconut oil remove stretch marks?

While there is no scientific evidence to prove that coconut oil may remove stretch marks, it may help improve its appearance by deeply hydrating the skin and boosting collagen production.

Key Takeaways

  • Coconut oil has a hydrating and moisturizing effect on the skin and may help with early scar treatment.
  • Coconut oil forms a chemical layer over the infected body parts and protects them from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria, and viruses.
  • Coconut oil is generally well tolerated. However, some people may experience extreme reactions if they are allergic to coconuts.
Coconut oil for scars

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Acne scars can make you uncomfortable but worry not because coconut oil happens to be a great natural remedy for them. Watch this video to learn more.

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Medicinal benefit of coconut oil
  2. Effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skin components and antioxidant status during dermal wound healing in young rats
  4. The effects of topical vitamin E on the cosmetic appearance of scars
  5. Coconut oil: what do we really know about it so far?
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Dr. Priya Gill
Dr. Priya GillMBBCH, MRCP
Dr. Priya Gill is a consultant dermatologist in Klang, Malaysia, with over 16 years of experience. She specializes in the management of all medical and surgical dermatology issues and has a special interest in laser therapy and phototherapy.

Read full bio of Dr. Priya Gill
Arshiya Syeda
Arshiya SyedaSenior Editor
Arshiya Syeda is a senior editor at StyleCraze with 7 years of experience. Prior to that, she was a content writer and combined her writing and research skills to write over 200 high-performing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and skin care.

Read full bio of Arshiya Syeda
Ramona is an editor at StyleCraze with 11 years of experience in writing and editing. She has authored over 200 articles on skin and hair care. She graduated from the University of Calcutta, West Bengal, and did her post-graduation from the University of Kalyani, West Bengal.

Read full bio of Ramona Sinha
Medha Deb
Medha DebCommerce Editor
Medha Deb is a commerce editor with a master's degree in applied linguistics from the University of Hyderabad, which has allowed her to develop a deep understanding of language and its application in various contexts. She specializes in the areas of beauty, health, and wellness and is committed to ensuring that the content on the website is of the highest quality.

Read full bio of Medha Deb