On August 8, 2022, a TikTok user named @drramabahadurbohar, shared a post that read: “Rubbing a mixture of a few ounces of coconut oil and a capsule of vitamin E would eliminate melasma, according to Ayurveda texts. Anyone who wants to seem beautiful can try it.”
After TikTok blocked his previous account [screenshot], the user created a new one under the handle @drrambahadurbo151.
The video received more than 41,000 views before TikTok banned the account.
Nepal Check has fact-checked the claim on the treatment for the skin condition called melasma.
The TikTok user advised using coconut oil and vitamin E capsules to get rid of melasma. He has credited it to Ayurveda, a traditional natural medical practice that dates back three thousand years to India.
“Vitamins were only discovered in the 19th century whereas major Ayurvedic classics (Charaka Samhita, etc) were written around the 4th century BC,” Lochan Acharya, who studies Ayurvedic medicines in Kerala, tells Nepal Check. The Ayurvedic literature, therefore, lacks clear descriptions of vitamins and their uses.
The use of coconut oil is also barely mentioned in Ayurveda’s classical texts.
Sabina Bhattarai, a dermatologist based in Kathmandu, says coconut oil mostly contains antioxidants. “Coconut oil helps maintain the moisture of our skin. Your skin becomes smoother, and allergies are reduced,” she tells Nepal Check.
She says it is nonetheless impossible to inject vitamin E capsules into the skin. “Vitamin E supplements cannot be used to cure melasma. Hereditary factors, sun exposure, or use of birth control pills can all contribute to melasma development,” she says.
Despite its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which may help reduce itching, dermatologists do not recommend using coconut oil for melasma.
Although melasma is more common in women and people with darker skin, it is not physically harmful. According to Dr Bhattarai, the skin has three layers. “Our skin has cells that store and produce dark colour,” she says. “Your skin darkens due to effects from heat or after medication. That’s how melasma appears on your skin,” she says.
According to Acharya, coconut oil serves as a foundation in a variety of taila formulations in Ayurveda. “In Kerala, where coconuts are plentiful and Ayurveda is widely practised, such concoctions are widely produced,” he says. “These taila formulations are used to treat various skin diseases and disorders such as eczema, itching.”
Few studies have shown how coconut oil-based Ayurvedic taila formulations are beneficial for skin, according to him.
A 2009 study found virgin coconut oil has more bioactive substances like vitamin E, sterols, and polyphenols because processing removes some of these substances.
Our research has shown that coconut oil and vitamin E capsules cannot eradicate melasma. Therefore, the claim made by the TikTok user is false.
|Claim||Claimed by||Nepal Check Verdict|
|Rubbing a mixture of a few ounces of coconut oil and a capsule of Vitamin E would eliminate melasma||TikTok users||False|
This story first appeared on Nepal Check and Onlinekhabar is republishing it under the Creative Commons licence.