An exploration into the wound healing properties of coconut oil

Miss Chloe Wain1

1Fiona Wood Foundation, Perth, Australia, 2Telethon Kids Institution, Perth, Australia, 3Curtin University of Technology, Bentley, Australia


Sepsis is an aberrant systemic host response to an infection and can occur when the protective skin barrier of the body is damaged, such as through wounds, making the body more susceptible to pathogen invasion (Singer et al., 2016). Effective and efficient wound healing is therefore or paramount priority as early wound closure, especially in burns, significantly reduces the infective complications (Atiyeh et al., 2005). Most wounds will heal without secondary intervention but preventive methods that improve skin integrity to arrest scarring and improve wound healing efficiency are preferable. Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is a medium-chain fatty acid-rich oil that comes from the fruit of an emblematic palm grown in more than 92 countries (Nevin and Rajamohan, 2010, Bhatnagar et al., 2009, Yang et al., 2021). VCO predominantly contains monolaurin and lauric acid, which have been shown to possess antibacterial and antimicrobial properties (Chew, 2019). Pilot work has shown topical application of VCO allows the entrapment of moisture and the absorption of nutrients in skin and shows promising results in the prevention of infections (Strunk et al., 2018). This project examined the use of VCO as an emollient for the treatment of wounds through both ex vivo whole human skin healing using native VCO and in vitro scratch wound assay and a scar in a jar assay assessing collagen production (Xu et al., 2012, Chen et al., 2009). FRET Results showed an increase in pro-collagen production in wounds treated with VCO and ex vivo wound healing experiments are being completed.



Curtin University Honours Student completing my honours project on an exploration into the wound healing properties of coconut oil at the Harry Perkins Institute of Technology as part of the Burns Intensive Research Unit headed by Mark Fear. My project also collaborates with the COSI-2 trial group at the Telethon Kids Institute.

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