By Dhel Nazario
As researchers study virgin coconut oil (VCO) as a potential cure for COVID-19, the Department of Science and Technology-Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI) is developing a hand and body lotion and cream enriched with it.
Led by Dr. Rosalinda C. Torres, scientist I and chief of the Standards and Testing Division (STD-ITDI), together with her all-women team, the group is capitalizing on the unique properties of VCO.
VCO has long been established by chemists and pharmacologists in the West for possessing antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. DOST-ITDI’s VCO-enriched hand and body cream and lotion also contain antifungal properties.
“Fungal infections are generally very difficult to treat, albeit many are superficial; that is, they occur on the skin. A product that can inhibit skin fungal infection is thus very valuable,” the agency said.
Dr. Torres has conducted and proven in clinical tests the efficacy and safety of the lotion and cream as antifungal products.
The lotion and cream, with five percent concentration of VCO, were tested to determine their inhibitory activity and reactivity against two fungal strains, the Microsporum canis and Candida albicans. The former causes ringworm of the scalp and body, while the latter can cause skin infection in the armpits, groin, and the skin between the fingers and toes.
As expected, the lotion and cream arrested the growth and infection brought by the two fungal strains. Further, these were found to be safe for use as shown by the negative dermal irritation results.