Avocado Oil in the Management of Psoriasis and Eczema

Abstract

The use of avocado oil to manage different skin conditions has prospered over the past few years. Due to its rich combination of polyunsaturated fatty acids, this oil can be very beneficial for psoriasis and eczema patients. (1)

After many clinical trials, researchers concluded that the best way to extract the positive effects of avocado oil is to include it in a vitamin B12 cream. (2)

In summary, avocado oil aids with psoriasis and eczema by:

  • Repairing skin barrier
  • Dampening inflammation
  • Neutralizing free radicals (i.e., reactive oxygen species)
  • Improving the penetration of topical medications
  • Delivering essential vitamins and minerals to skin cells

This article will cover the composition of avocado oil to decipher its ingredients, then switch gears to discuss the effects of this oil on psoriasis and eczema.

The composition of avocado oil

Avocado oil is extremely rich in fatty acids, including:

  • Linoleic acid (6.1–22.9%)
  • Linolenic acid (0.4–4.0%)
  • Oleic acid (31.8–69.6%)

Other ingredients include several minerals, vitamins A, C, D, and E, as well as β-sitosterol, β-carotene, and lecithin. (3)

The fatty acids help with maintaining the skin barrier to prevent water from leaking outside and also block microbes from penetrating the deeper layers of the skin. The vitamins and minerals serve as essential nutrients for the damaged skin to prevent psoriasis and eczema flare-ups.

This unique combination makes avocado oil ideal for dry and damaged skin – an issue that is very common in psoriasis and eczema. (4)

How avocado oil helps with psoriasis

There is compelling evidence that supports the positive effects of avocado oil on psoriatic plaques. For instance, a 2001 study concluded that avocado oil mixed in vitamin B12 cream can significantly improve psoriasis symptoms compared to standard vitamin D3 treatment. (5)

Interestingly, the effects of vitamin D3 treatment were superior during the first 4 weeks of the trial. After this period, the action of vitamin D3 began to subside, whereas the effects of vitamin V12/avocado oil remained constant throughout the study. What’s more, the authors of this study stated that vitamin B12 creams that contain avocado oil can actually be a viable, long-term treatment for psoriasis. (5)

The action of avocado oil on the skin is multifactorial. Researchers believe it can improve the penetration of topical medications into the skin. (6) Avocado oil also exerts anti-inflammatory action, which can help with psoriasis flare-ups. (7)

Aside from that, avocado oil has some potent antioxidative properties that get rid of toxins and microbes, allowing the skin to auto-regenerate. (8)

Finally, the rich fatty acid profile of avocado oil helps in repairing and protecting the skin barrier – a process that’s crucial for the management of psoriasis. (9)

How avocado oil helps with eczema

There is a quasi-complete consensus about the benefits of avocado oil in the management of sunburns, wounds, and brittle nails. (10) However, the same mechanisms that lead to these effects may also be beneficial for eczema. The primary pathogenesis that drives eczema is an impaired skin barrier. Therefore, the treatment should revolve around hydrating the skin and dampening inflammation – both of which can be achieved by applying avocado oil. (11)

Avocado oil is an anti-inflammatory agent that acts as an emollient. (12) As a result, it softens the skin and traps moisture inside. This also makes it effective in minimizing the itch associated with atopic dermatitis. 

Moreover, the antioxidants and fatty acids found in avocado oil aid in modulating the skin barrier. (13) Wound healing is another property of avocado oil that contributes to soothing the symptoms of eczema. (14)

Linoleic acid, in particular, is effective at rebuilding, stabilizing, and maintaining the integrity of the skin barrier. (15) Add vitamin E to the mix, and you got yourself the perfect recipe to soothe the symptoms of atopic dermatitis. (16)

Conclusion

Avocado oil is extremely rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The unique combination of these ingredients makes this oil very beneficial for certain skin diseases, such as psoriasis and eczema.

The specific mechanisms that lead to these effects are diverse and include the repair of the skin barrier, dampening of inflammation, and neutralizing free radicals.

The best way to include avocado oil in your skincare routine is by looking for soaps and creams that contain this oil. Using these products regularly might help you soothe the symptoms of psoriasis and eczema. 

We hope that this article helped you appreciate the science behind the effectiveness of avocado oil in the management of psoriasis and eczema. 

References

1- Flores, M., Saravia, C., Vergara, C. E., Avila, F., Valdés, H., & Ortiz-Viedma, J. (2019). Avocado Oil: Characteristics, Properties, and Applications. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)24(11), 2172. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24112172

2- Del Duca, E., Farnetani, F., De Carvalho, N., Bottoni, U., Pellacani, G., & Nisticò, S. P. (2017). Superiority of a vitamin B12-containing emollient compared to a standard emollient in the maintenance treatment of mild-to-moderate plaque psoriasis. International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology30(4), 439–444. https://doi.org/10.1177/0394632017736674

3-Lin, T.-K., Zhong, L., & Santiago, J. (2017). Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. International Journal of Molecular Sciences19(1), 70. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010070

4- Rendon, A., & Schäkel, K. (2019). Psoriasis Pathogenesis and Treatment. International journal of molecular sciences20(6), 1475. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20061475

5-Stücker, M., Memmel, U., Hoffmann, M., Hartung, J., & Altmeyer, P. (2001). Vitamin B(12) cream containing avocado oil in the therapy of plaque psoriasis. Dermatology (Basel, Switzerland)203(2), 141–147. https://doi.org/10.1159/000051729

6- Čižinauskas, V., Elie, N., Brunelle, A., & Briedis, V. (2017). Skin Penetration Enhancement by Natural Oils for Dihydroquercetin Delivery. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)22(9), 1536. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22091536

7- Nayak, B. S., Raju, S. S., & Chalapathi Rao, A. V. (2008). Wound healing activity of Persea americana (avocado) fruit: a preclinical study on rats. Journal of wound care17(3), 123–126. https://doi.org/10.12968/jowc.2008.17.3.28670

8- Queiroz Junior, N. F., Steffani, J. A., Machado, L., Longhi, P., Montano, M., Martins, M., Machado, S. A., Machado, A. K., & Cadoná, F. C. (2021). Antioxidant and cytoprotective effects of avocado oil and extract (Persea americana Mill) against rotenone using monkey kidney epithelial cells (Vero). Journal of toxicology and environmental health. Part A84(21), 875–890. https://doi.org/10.1080/15287394.2021.1945515

9- de Oliveira, A. P., Franco, E., Rodrigues Barreto, R., Cordeiro, D. P., de Melo, R. G., de Aquino, C. M., E Silva, A. A., de Medeiros, P. L., da Silva, T. G., Góes, A. J., & Maia, M. B. (2013). Effect of semisolid formulation of persea americana mill (avocado) oil on wound healing in rats. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM2013, 472382. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/472382

10- Werman, M. J., Mokady, S., Nimni, M. E., & Neeman, I. (1991). The effect of various avocado oils on skin collagen metabolism. Connective tissue research26(1-2), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.3109/03008209109152159

11- Naeimifar, A., Ahmad Nasrollahi, S., Samadi, A., Talari, R., Sajad Ale-Nabi, S., Massoud Hossini, A., & Firooz, A. (2020). Preparation and evaluation of anti-wrinkle cream containing saffron extract and avocado oil. Journal of cosmetic dermatology19(9), 2366–2373. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.13284

12- Wen, S., Sun, M., Ye, L., Yang, B., Hu, L., & Man, M. Q. (2021). Topical Applications of a Novel Emollient Inhibit Inflammation in Murine Models of Acute Contact Dermatitis. BioMed research international2021, 5594646. https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/5594646

13- Carvajal-Zarrabal, O., Nolasco-Hipolito, C., Aguilar-Uscanga, M. G., Melo Santiesteban, G., Hayward-Jones, P. M., & Barradas-Dermitz, D. M. (2014). Effect of dietary intake of avocado oil and olive oil on biochemical markers of liver function in sucrose-fed rats. BioMed research international2014, 595479. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/595479

14- Ranade, S. S., & Thiagarajan, P. (2015). A review on Persea americana Mill.(Avocado)-its fruit and oil. Int. J. PharmTech Res8(6), 72-77.

15- Elias, P. M., Brown, B. E., & Ziboh, V. A. (1980). The permeability barrier in essential fatty acid deficiency: evidence for a direct role for linoleic acid in barrier function. Journal of Investigative Dermatology74(4), 230-233.

16- Thiele, J. J., & Ekanayake-Mudiyanselage, S. (2007). Vitamin E in human skin: organ-specific physiology and considerations for its use in dermatology. Molecular aspects of medicine28(5-6), 646-667.

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