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Monolaurin and Skin Infections

Last Updated: January 8, 2019 | First Published: August 24, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Rosmy Barrios, M.D.

Skin infections can be a major annoyance, as they are often visible and can be accompanied by nagging symptoms such as rash or itching.

Skin infections can be a major annoyance, as they are often visible and can be accompanied by nagging symptoms such as rash or itching.

When monolaurin is used to help skin infections, it may act as an antiseptic that fights against the infection. Skin and mucosa are known as the barriers fighting against pathogens that the body is exposed to. Without this barrier, the body may be at an elevated risk of infection.

Skin and Mucosa Health

Mucosa (mucous membranes) are layered over internal organs to help protect against various pathogens and also helps prevent body tissues from becoming dehydrated. Mucus membranes rely on nutrition. The integrity of these membranes can be compromised by various things such as a lack of proper nutrition, or deficiency in some vitamins or minerals. (Ref #1)

Monolaurin, which can be metabolized in the body by ingesting foods rich in lauric acid, helps bolster the immune system by disabling a virus from reproducing. The monoglyceride binds itself onto the pathogen’s membrane and slowly dissolves it.

A study in the Journal of Dermatitis found that coconut oil, the main source of monolaurin, is more powerful against Atopic Dermatitis when compared to other oils. (Ref #2) Another study in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology has demonstrated that monolaurin extracts are potent against several bacterial species that can cause skin infections, including Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus spp. In some experiments, the monolaurin extracts were more potent against these bacteria as compared to conventional antibiotics. (Ref #3) On human skin, monolaurin is an antiseptic with broad-spectrum effects. 

Common Types Of Skin Infections

Skin infections can be bacterial, parasitic, viral or fungal.

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections mainly involve soft tissue beneath the skin and skin itself. An example of a bacterial skin infection which Monolaurin has been research as a potential treatment is Staphylococcus Aureus related infections. Monolaurin was shown to inhibit the activity of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria in laboratory studies. (Ref #4)

Parasitic Infections

The skin can also be infected by parasites. Giardia lamblia is a parasite which Monolaurin has been shown to inactivate, and may even be taken before exposure to prevent illness (Ref # 5)

Viral Infections

This occurs when a virus within the body reflects symptoms on the skin.

Shingles – a reactivated virus that causes chickenpox – may be a type of herpes virus treated by Monolaurin (Ref #6). Additionally, Molluscum Contagiosum – which causes multiple raised bumps on the skin – has been studied in relation to Monolaurin (Ref #7).

Fungal Infections

Fungus can be found all over the body where the surfaces of skin meet.

Yeast Infections (Candidiasis) – A fungus known as candida that lives on the skin – is extremely common and could potentially be treated with Monolaurin (Ref #8).



  1. Liu J, Bian Z, Kuijpers-Jagtman AM, Von den Hoff JW. Skin and oral mucosa equivalents: construction and performance. Orthod Craniofac Res. 2010 Feb;13(1):11-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-6343.2009.01475.x.

  2. Verallo-Rowell, Vermén M.; Dillague, Kristine M.; Syah-Tjundawan, Bertha S. Novel Antibacterial and Emollient Effects of Coconut and Virgin Olive Oils in Adult Atopic Dermatitis. Dermatitis: November-December 2008 - Volume 19 - Issue 6 - p 308–315 doi: 10.2310/6620.2008.08052

  3. Carpo BG, Verallo-Rowell VM, Kabara J. Novel antibacterial activity of monolaurin compared with conventional antibiotics against organisms from skin infections: an in vitro study. J Drugs Dermatol. 2007 Oct;6(10):991-8.

  4. Ruzin A, Novick RP. “Equivalence of lauric acid and glycerol monolaurate as inhibitors of signal transduction in Staphylococcus aureus.” J Bacteriol. 2000 May;182(9):2668-71.

  5. Fahmy ZH, Aly E, Shalsh I, Mohamed AH. The effect of medium chain saturated fatty acid (monolaurin) on levels of the cytokines on experimental animal in Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lamblia infection. African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. January 2014.

  6. Hill, JW. "Natural Treatments for Genital Herpes, Cold Sores and Shingles: A Review of the Scientific and Medical Literature". Clear Springs Press; 2nd edition (January 7, 2012)

  7. Chua E, Verallo-Rowell VM. Coconut Oil Extract (2% Monolaurin) Cream in the Treatment of Molluscum Contagiosum: A Randomized Double-Blind Vehicle-Controlled Trial. WCD, October 2007, Argentina

  8. Bergsson G, Arnfinnsson J, Steingrímsson O, and Thormar H. In Vitro Killing of Candida albicans by Fatty Acids and Monoglycerides. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 2001 November; 45(11): 3209–3212



Treating Molluscum Contagiosum

Last Updated: December 11, 2018 | First Published: June 12, 2016
Reviewed by: Dr. Rosmy Barrios, M.D.

Could Monolaurin spare you from painful destructive therapies used to treat Molluscum?

Could Monolaurin spare you from painful destructive therapies used to treat Molluscum?

Molluscum Contagiosum is a viral skin infection traditionally associated with small children, but more recently has been found in adults as an STI. Molluscum can affect any part of the body, and is commonly identified by its small uniform ,round, and often with an umbilication (dimpled center). In adults, it can affect the groin and upper thighs as it is typically sexually transmitted.

Molluscum is part of the pox family and is an encapsulated virus, just like influenza or herpes. This means there is a fatty envelope sheath which protects the DNA and RNA of the virus. Traditional therapies for Molluscum include:

  • Destructive - Such as Cryotherapy, which freezes the Molluscum with liquid nitrogen

  • Immunotherapy - immune stimulators like immiquimod

  • Time - simply letting the body identify the infection and clear it over time

Because Molluscum is an enveloped virus like Influenza and Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), it may respond favorably to anti-viral supplements like monolaurin. Monolaurin has been shown in laboratory studies to kill nearly all encapsulated viruses - those viruses which have a fatty membrane around the DNA and RNA of the virus [1, 2, 3, 4]. The studies for molluscum and monolaurin are limited, but some qualitative feedback and personal testimonials online are very encouraging [7].

If you or a loved one is suffering from Molluscum, you may consider trying monolaurin as a natural and safe therapy. Monolaurin has been shown to be highly effective in combating viruses including Measles [3], Epstein-Bar [4], Chlamydia [5], HSV [6], and more. Monolaurin can be taken in high doses and for extended periods without affecting drug resistance or "healthy" bacteria. Monolaurin is all natural and is derived from coconut oil, and is found on the FDA's "Generally Regarded As Safe" (GRAS) list. [8]

If you're considering monolaurin for treating Molluscum, start off with a smaller dose to see how your body reacts (one or two 600mg capsules a day) and slowly increase the dosage to up to six 600mg capsules per day if the response is positive. As with any treatment, it is best under the supervision ofa healthcare professional.


  1. Projan SJ, Brown-Skrobot S, Schlievert PM, Vandenesch F, Novick RP. Glycerol monolaurate inhibits the production of beta-lactamase, toxic shock toxin-1, and other staphylococcal exoproteins by interfering with signal transduction. Journal of Bacteriology. 1994 Jul;176(14):4204-9.

  2. Isaacs CE, Kim KS, Thormar H. Inactivation of enveloped viruses in human bodily fluids by purified lipids. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1994 Jun 6;724:457-64.

  3. Lieberman S, Enig MG, Preuss HG. A Review of Monolaurin and Lauric Acid Natural Virucidal and Bactericidal Agents. Alternative & Complimentary Therapies, December 2006. 12(6): 310-314.

  4. Thormar H, Isaacs CE, Brown HR, Barshatzky MR, Pessolano T. Inactivation of enveloped viruses and killing of cells by fatty acids and monoglycerides. AntimicrobialAgents and Chemotherapy. 1987 Jan;31(1):27-31.

  5. Bergsson G, Arnfinnsson H, Karlsson SM, Steingrímsson O, Thormar H. In Vitro Inactivation of Chlamydia trachomatis by Fatty Acids and Monoglycerides. American Society for Microbiology 9 February 1998

  6. Sands J, Auperin D, Snipes W. Extreme sensitivity of enveloped viruses, including Herpes Simplex, to long chain unsaturated monoglycerides and alcohols. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 15; 1:67-73, 1979.

  7. Chua E, Verallo-Rowell VM. Coconut Oil Extract (2% Monolaurin) Cream in the Treatment of Molluscum Contagiosum: A Randomized Double-Blind Vehicle-Controlled Trial. WCD, October 2007, Argentina

  8. FDA : 21CFR184.1505 ;


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