Rosacea is a chronic skin condition without a known cause. Most symptoms of rosacea occur on your face. The appearance of red, dilated blood vessels and small pimples and pustules on the cheeks, nose, and forehead are common symptoms of rosacea.

There is anecdotal evidence to support the use of coconut oil as a home remedy to treat rosacea.

Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of fresh coconuts. It’s rich in antioxidants and has moisturizing properties. Coconut oil also contains fatty acids that can refresh and repair your skin barrier. These unique properties are what make coconut oil a possible treatment for rosacea.

Keep reading to find out more about using coconut oil to treat rosacea.

We don’t have clinical trials that support the use of coconut oil to treat rosacea. But we do know that, when applied topically, coconut oil has anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, and skin-barrier repair properties, according to published research.

This suggests that coconut oil could help treat symptoms of rosacea.

Coconut oil also contains lauric acid, which can soothe irritated skin. Since coconut oil has been studied as a treatment for swelling, it may be particularly effective for symptoms of rosacea on your nose and cheeks and underneath your eyes.

Coconut oil also has antioxidant qualities. Studies have concluded that oxidative stress — meaning exposure to toxins in the air and in your diet — can make rosacea appear more visible on your face.

Coconut oil can help your skin cells to regenerate and combat the effects of oxidative stress.

There is less of an indication that consuming coconut oil orally could help treat rosacea. While coconut oil does contain high amounts of antioxidants, you’d probably need to consume a massive quantity of it to see any benefit from it for your skin.

And since coconut oil is extremely high in fat, the negative consequence of consuming that much coconut oil would outweigh any potential benefit for your skin.

If you want to try coconut oil for rosacea, don’t stop using prescribed medications that you’re already taking for the condition. Run the idea by your doctor and ask about possible side effects or things to watch out for with your particular skin.

If you’re allergic to coconuts, avoid using coconut oil as a rosacea treatment. Some people with walnut and hazelnut allergies have reactions to coconut oil, so keep that in mind before you do a full application of coconut oil on your face.

Even if you don’t think you’re allergic, it’s a good idea to do a patch test by applying some of the oil to a small area of skin on your arm. Check it in 24 hours. If you don’t have any irritation or other reaction, you’re probably fine to apply the treatment to your face.

Use cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil to ensure there are fewer chemicals and additives in your product. This is the kind of coconut oil that most clinical trials use when they study its properties.

You can find it in health food stores, at the pharmacy, and online. It’s also currently sold in some grocery stores.

Coconut oil is solid at room temperature. Take about a teaspoon of coconut oil and rub it between your palms to warm it up and get it to an easier consistency for your skin to absorb.

Then apply it to your face, paying special attention to the areas of your skin where rosacea symptoms tend to occur. Unlike many other topical skin treatments, coconut oil is safe to use in the area around your eyes.

Applying coconut oil at night allows for maximum absorption.

Coconut oil is considered to be a safe topical skin treatment for most people. People with coconut allergies should not consider this treatment for rosacea.

You may also want to proceed with caution if you have skin that’s prone to blackheads. Coconut oil can be comedogenic, meaning that it builds up and clogs pores if your skin doesn’t fully absorb it.

If you notice the symptoms of your rosacea getting worse, discontinue using the oil right away.

Coconut oil may be a safe and effective treatment for rosacea. There are people who swear by it, and people who say that it doesn’t work. We do know that coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which may soothe and ease the redness and swelling symptoms of rosacea.

Ultimately, we need more research to conclusively understand how and to what extent coconut oil can treat rosacea symptoms. If you try coconut oil for rosacea, keep the lines of communication open with your dermatologist.

If coconut oil doesn’t work to treat your symptoms, ask if there are other topical remedies or oral medications that could be effective for you.