Can CBD help treat Eczema? – All you need to know
Dry skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can be hell to live with and can affect the sufferer in many ways beyond simply having dry skin. Constant itching can lead to sleepless nights and that lack of sleep can then have an impact on every facet of life. Severe cases of eczema and psoriasis can have a detrimental impact on self-confidence and can lead to the collapse of relationships and other negative effects on life. The awful thing about many skin conditions is that as it deteriorates the level of itching and irritability increases, which in turn causes stress levels to rise. Stress can be a major factor in exacerbating dry skin conditions and ironically the worse a skin condition becomes the more stressed out the sufferer gets.
CBD is derived from the Cannabis plant; it is one of over one hundred cannabinoids. CBD does not cause the high that is often associated with cannabis. It is recognised as providing relief from inflammation, anxiety and pain.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a group of skin conditions that cause the skin to become itchy, red and inflamed. There are various types of eczema. The variations consist of atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, nummular eczema and stasis dermatitis.
Eczema is an extremely common condition and is manageable in many cases, but it can become severe quickly and have damaging effects on both physical and mental health. Living with eczema is an ongoing challenge. The word eczema is derived from the Greek word meaning “to boil over” which is an appropriate description of the symptoms of eczema which includes redness, itchiness and inflammation. In most cases eczema first occurs during childhood and then it deteriorates as the sufferer enters adulthood, but factors like stress and a poor diet can cause flare ups of eczema. Eczema is not contagious, so there is no need to treat an eczema sufferer as a pariah.
What are the treatments for eczema?
There is no known cure for eczema yet there are numerous treatments. Depending on the sufferer’s age and the severity of the condition, treatments include over the counter treatments like Diprobase and E45 and there are various prescription topical medications that often contain cortisone and steroids. Phototherapy is another prospective treatment option as are immunosuppressants. CBD is becoming increasingly recommended by word of mouth as CBD can help with inflammation which is one of the main causes of eczema and can help the skin relax.
For eczema sufferers it is important to manage your eczema, managing flares can come down to three attributable factors;
- Know your triggers so you can avoid exposure
- Implement a daily moisturising routine
- Use OTC and prescription medication precisely as prescribed
What can you do to treat eczema?
Keeping your skin well moisturised is one of the most vital things you can do if you suffer from eczema. It is imperative that you moisturise your skin on a daily basis to ensure that itching is contained, and the skin does not get too inflamed.
Corticosteroid creams are often provided in cases of a bad eczema flare up, hydrocortisone and betamethasone are both powerful anti-inflammatory creams and when applied directly to the skin they provide effective and fast relief from eczema symptoms. However, steroid creams can cause some severe side effects. The most common negative side effect of corticosteroid creams is that it causes the thinning of the skin which leave it more vulnerable to injury and infection. The creams can also cause the skin to change colour and be the driving factor of other conditions such as acne. This is why when people are prescribed corticosteroids for short periods at a time, the unfortunate thing is that people with severe eczema find that as soon as they stop using their steroid cream, their eczema flares up again.
There are currently very few options for eczema sufferers, particularly when it comes to the long-term management of their disease. However, CBD is now well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. There is burgeoning evidence that CBD could be an effective long-term solution for sufferers of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
What is CBD?
CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in the flower of the cannabis plant. The therapeutic properties of CBD are beginning to become common knowledge and the extent of new research being undertaken will provide the much-needed evidence to support these claims. CBD does not get you ‘stoned’ or ‘high’, with many people desiring the health benefits of cannabis without the high, CBD is an ideal solution.
Using CBD to treat eczema
There has not been much research carried out to specifically study the efficacy of using CBD to treat eczema, but there is preliminary evidence that CBD does have anti-inflammatory properties.
The skin is the largest organ of the human body and it forms a protective barrier between your vital organs and the outside world. It is continuously exposed to environmental irritants and toxins. These are the reasons why your skin can be prone to inflammation and many eczema sufferers have a genetic tendency towards eczema.
The skin also helps to regulate body temperature, this is done by raising or lowering body hair and sweating. A recent study revealed that the skin contains cannabinoid receptors. These receptors bind with endogenous cannabinoids are produced by the body, there are also phytocannabinoids which derive from the cannabis plant.
The cannabinoid receptors are an essential element of the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in allergic inflammation. Studies in animals suggest that animals lacking cannabinoid receptors have a more allergic response compared to controlled variables. This finding was supported further by a study that found canines with atopic dermatitis had an increased immune reactivity at cannabinoid receptors compared to normal healthy dogs.
Experts have suggested that treating the endocannabinoid system with cannabinoids like CBD can help skin conditions like eczema by reducing inflammation and relieving dry skin. Cannabinoid receptors are present in the central nervous system so CBD helps to soothe eczema symptoms such as itching and pain.
How does CBD purity affect treatment of eczema?
When selecting the CBD cosmetic product to treat eczema, it is important to bear in mind what kind of CBD extract is contained, whether it is full-spectrum, broad-spectrum or isolate. It is also important to know where the raw material of the product is sourced and whether the product is 100% natural.
For the purposes of treating eczema, it is recommended to use a CBD cream directly on the eczema. You can use a CBD topical product in conjunction with CBD oil or another ingestible product to try and combat the eczema as much as possible.
How to Use CBD for eczema
CBD is naturally derived from the cannabis plant and is often used medicinally in the form of extracts, oils and topical creams.
Orally ingesting CBD is an effective method of consuming CBD. CBD oil can be taken by being dropped under the tongue or it can be mixed into beverage or while cooking. When you first try CBD, it is advisable to start with a low dose and gradually increase it. CBD is unlikely to cause any side effects, but it is best to err on the side of caution and not take too high a dose to start with.
Topical creams and CBD cosmetics are a fantastic way to relieve inflammation and discomfort of the skin. You apply the CBD cream directly to where they are most needed. It is best to ensure that the product you are using is 100% natural, so no further irritation is caused.
Is CBD safe for children with eczema?
It is always advisable to consult your child’s paediatrician if you are worried about giving them CBD. If you decide to give your child CBD be sure to check that the product is THC free. This is because THC can be damaging to children as their brains and central nervous systems are still not yet fully developed, most high-quality CBD products do not contain THC so it should not be too much trouble.
Unfortunately, eczema is a common and distressing skin condition. It is a challenge to treat it effectively and it takes discipline from the sufferer to manage their diet and ensure they regularly moisturise. Often sufferers are able to find short term relief only to discover the condition has returned after a few weeks.
CBD is a great alternative to steroid creams that have damaging side effects, it is a natural and pleasant solution rather than taking courses of oral steroids and having to apply thick steroid cream twice a day. It cannot be disputed that more research needs to be carried out into the efficacy of CBD treating eczema but CBD could be a natural solution for reducing inflammation, itching and pain.