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Medically, eczema is a skin condition which is synonymous with itching and irritation. This irritation then leads to inflammation and rashes. The scientific term for this disease is “atopic dermatitis”. It typically appears on the face, neck, behind the knees, ankles, inside the elbows, hands and feet. Although it is commonly seen in children, eczema can also be experienced by adults as it just requires a certain trigger. Interestingly, eczema is also often accompanied by other ailments such as hay fever and asthma.
The exact cause for eczema on hands or anywhere for that matter is still a mystery, but it is generally assumed that genetic and environmental factors play an important role. People who are allergic to certain foods and day to day items which can be allergens or irritants like soap, perfumes, and certain types of clothing are susceptible to eczema. Wearing gloves, especially latex gloves, is a common cause for hand dermatitis. Using cotton gloves or opting for fragrance free skin care products can make a big difference to people with eczema. Moreover, air pollution, pollens, sweat and stress are some of the other common causes.
It is a long term disease which may vary in intensity. There may be periods of absolute absence and then there may be periods of continuous struggle. Some people experience relapse in winters as they typically suffer from dry skin at that time of year. Doctors typically prescribe medicated soaps and creams to prevent further aggravation and also to heal the rashes caused by uncontrolled itching of the sensitive skin. On the other hand corticosteroid creams help reduce swelling.
However, alternative medicines have brought immense relief to those suffering from eczema on hands and elsewhere. CBD oil, lotions and creams are some of the newly available options. The main ingredient in these products is derived from Cannabis which is fast attracting the attention of medical community in general and dermatological community in particular. It is believed that CBD skin products are not only the future of dermatology, especially atopic dermatitis, but scores of other diseases and chronic illnesses.
Unfortunately, the recreational and addictive qualities associated with marijuana have created a division of opinions. Moreover, cannabis in its raw form is illegal, although 29 American states have legalized its use for medical / clinical programs. In such an uncontrolled and confused environment even physicians and doctors are uncertain of its efficacy.
The crux of the matter lies with the chemical ingredients (cannabinoids) found in cannabis. There are five major cannabinoids.
Out of the above five, only CBD is devoid of psychoactive element and hence the preferred choice of many scientific groups for their research programs. This means that CBD cannot cause the ‘high’ that many people are so keen to avoid. Cannabidiols such as CBD oil have excellent antimicrobial properties which aid the immune system among other things. In spite of several research papers pointing towards CBD’s excellent cooling and antibacterial properties, its topical and oral use has often been a major bone of contention as some researchers believe it is too soon to start prescribing.
CBD typically influences the ECS (endocannabinoid system) receptors which are naturally present throughout the entire human body. This influence causes our body to produce more cannabinoids and thereby enhance the healing process. In this case, the increased production offers relief from both itching and inflammation. Topical application of cannabinoid based creams and lotions work wonders for eczema on hands for this reason.
Although cannabis in its entirety is still considered a threat in terms of the addictive high that it has always been known for, awareness and understanding of this product are slowly but surely on the rise. Its natural healing properties are now common knowledge, and as more research is conducted and greater confidence in its safety is established, CBD promises to be one of the most important treatments for eczema in the years to come.
If you have dry, itchy skin and or cracks on your hands you should make an appointment with your family doctor to discuss your symptoms further.
Need more information? Check out everything you need to know about treating Eczema with CBD here.