Sunflower oil in the treatment of dry skin and atopic dermatitis

Sunflower oil is one of the main ingredients of SAJM DERM OINTMENT. Scientific papers on the use of “natural” oils for hydration, such as olive, coconut and sunflower oil, suggest that sunflower oil is the best and is hence used in the treatment of dry skin and atopic dermatitis.

This topic was addressed in a study published in 2018 in the Pediatric Dermatology by Theodora K. Karagounis, Julia K. Gittler, Veronica Rotemberg and Kimberly D. Morel, as well as in a study published in 2017 in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences by Tzu-Kai Lin, Lily Zhong and J. Santiago.

Results of the study

It has been established that despite availability of effective drugs to treat atopic dermatitis and xerosis, patients can use unconventional therapies such as oil. Patients choose these treatments because of the perceived lower risk associated with natural products and fear of possible harmful effects of topical steroids. In the publication, the use of olive, coconut and sunflower oils in the treatment of atopic dermatitis and xerosis, with emphasis on children, was observed.

Despite the lack of evidence-based research on this topic, service providers familiar with the literature can have a more informative and nuanced discussion with their patients about the appropriate use of alternative therapies. Physicians can give the best advice by continuing to support the study of the safety and effectiveness of therapies used by their patients.

Linoleic acid makes up approximately 60% of sunflower oil, and it is necessary for maintaining the normal function of the epidermis. The conversion of linoleic acid to arachidonic acid, followed by the production of prostaglandin E2, reduces the inflammatory response in the skin.

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Results in children

In children with linoleic acid deficiency, local application of products containing it has shown that the symptoms of dermatitis withdrew.

The studies compared the results in children treated only with topical corticosteroids and in children who alternated between corticosteroids and sunflower oil. The group of patients who alternated between corticosteroids and sunflower oil had a significant reduction in lichenification symptoms (thickened skin with exaggerated skin lines and brown pigmentation). This reduces the need for more frequent use of topical corticosteroids.

Other studies that examined possible harmful effects of long-term use of sunflower oil found no adverse effects of this therapy.

The fact that there have been no reported cases of contact allergy to topical preparations containing sunflower oil is of special importance.