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Apricot Oil: A Natural Solution to Eczema?

The use of botanical extracts as anti-inflammatory treatments is becoming increasingly common among patients suffering from eczema. In the quest for natural remedies and in the face of failure or intolerance of certain conventional medications, many are turning to vegetable oils like apricot oil. But what about its effectiveness on this skin condition?

Summary
Published April 8, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 3 min read

Does apricot oil truly have an effect on eczema?

The apricot oil, extracted from the kernels of Prunus armeniaca, is a vegetable oil renowned in the therapeutic and cosmetic fields. Its use to accompany massages is also highly prized. Rich in unsaturated fatty acids, the apricot oil is appreciated for its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties and has been used for several centuries in Chinese medicine. It is also said that this vegetable oil can be used to treat certain dermatoses, including eczema.

Currently, the evidence supporting the effectiveness of apricot oil on eczema is very limited.

Nevertheless, in conjunction with a treatment prescribed by a dermatologist, the use of apricot oil can prove to be relevant. Indeed, as mentioned earlier, this vegetable oil has a high moisturizing potential due to its rich texture. Its application can therefore help to strengthen the hydrolipidic film and the skin barrier, which are fragile in eczematous skin. Furthermore, through a mechanism of biomimicry, the linoleic acid present in apricot oil serves as a support for the lipids of the stratum corneum. It is therefore plausible to think that this vegetable oil could to some extent alleviate the symptoms of those suffering from eczema.

Furthermore, apricot oil has a certain anti-inflammatory activity that could be relevant in the case of eczema. Studies have indeed shown that this oil induces apoptosis in HaCaT cells through certain receptors involved in mitochondrial pathways. This apoptosis is correlated with theinhibition of the NF-κB pathway, known to lead to the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This mechanism allows apricot oil to help soothe irritations and itching, and to reduce redness.

Finally, apricot oil contains Vitamin E and carotenoids, compounds that possess antioxidant properties. This allows apricot oil to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. These are notably responsible for peroxidative damage on cell membranes and can disrupt the hydrolipidic film, which is already lacking in atopic skin. Additionally, oxidative stress can lead to an increase in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, involved in the pathogenesis of eczema. This antioxidant effect of apricot oil can thus help it combat the inflammation caused by this skin disease.

Sources

  • QADIR R. & al. Cold pressed apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) kernel oil. Cold Pressed Oils (2020).

  • NAZZARO F. & al. Fatty Acid Composition, Antioxidant, and in vitro Anti-inflammatory Activity of Five Cold-Pressed Prunus Seed Oils, and Their Anti-biofilm Effect Against Pathogenic Bacteria. Frontiers in Nutrition (2021).

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