Is eczema contagious? This is a question many people will have asked over the years because eczema is a very common condition, affecting as many as 20% of American children and about 3% of the adult population. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for eczema so people suffering from it can only manage their symptoms as best they can.
There are several types of eczema.
Also known as atopic eczema, this is an immune condition that results in the immune system attacking the skin and the skin barrier being weakened, possibly by a gene mutation. Sufferers are more likely to have family members with asthma or hay fever than people without. Red rashes, irritated skin, raised skin and itchiness on the arms, legs and face are the typical symptoms.
Also known as vesicular eczema, this is a common form of eczema that causes tiny, extremely itchy blisters on fingers, toes, the soles of the feet and palms. It occurs more often in women than men and is usually associated with allergies, so can be worse in spring.
A chronic form of eczema, seborrheic dermatitis is thought to be linked to a person’s genes and hormonal balance. A common type of eczema, the symptoms can range from person to person from dandruff to greasy, yellowed scales and inflamed skin. It usually occurs where sebaceous glands are clustered, for example on the nose, back and scalp. Also considered an immune disorder, it affects people with mental health issues and substance abuse issues more often than the average population.
Other Forms of Eczema
Different types of eczema include nummular dermatitis, stasis dermatitis, contact dermatitis and neurodermatitis. The causes are not well understood but they all have similar triggers, including stress, immune disorders/immune responses, diseases, food allergies and other allergies.
None of the forms of eczema mentioned here are contagious. However, the infections that can be harbored by inflamed and open tissue in eczema can be contagious. Eczema is just a type of skin inflammation. For anyone who is asking “is eczema contagious?”, the answer is a resounding no. Nobody can give anybody else eczema. It is a disorder of the body, not an infection or transmissible disease.
People with eczema face a lot of stigma, with kids and adults being bullied, being excluded from sports and activities, and feeling bad about their bodies. It is serious and affects hundreds of millions of people, so knowing the answer to “is eczema contagious?” is the first step in reducing this stigma.
Eczema and CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical derived from the cannabis plant. Previous to a few years ago, it was illegal in much of the Western world (as well as nearly everywhere else), so there was very little study into this chemical. Now it is turning out that CBD has a number of beneficial effects and a very high tolerability, meaning it can do the job of some drugs currently available without the side effects.
This means there is a great deal of hype surrounding CBD. There is a bandwagon, and everybody is getting on board. It is important, therefore, to know about what is actually known about CBD before it is used for skin problems or any other issue.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of eczema have not been treated with CBD in a proper scientific study. Large-scale CBD studies are almost impossible to find for any condition, let alone eczema. This means that we know very little about it.
What we do know, however, is very positive. CBD has a role in regulating the sebaceous glands in the skin, meaning that the amount of oil that is produced can change with the application of CBD. Other studies have shown it has an anti-inflammatory effect which would also be of great benefit to eczema sufferers.
These studies were only conducted on a small scale, so the exact effects on oil production in the skin are not well understood. Nevertheless, it presents as a drug that could be used successfully by some people to treat their eczema.
The current treatments for eczema are often laborious, ineffective in the long run and can have some unpleasant side effects. This serves to make eczema even more frustrating for sufferers. For such a chronic and widespread series of conditions, it is surprising how little it is understood or effectively treated.
When eczema becomes infected, it can prove fatal for some patients. The immune system is being explored currently, but the scientific world is still decades away from treating even common immune disorders like hay fever and eczema.
The lack of progress makes drugs like CBD worth trying. Medical advice regarding CBD can vary, but most practitioners will agree that it is difficult for CBD treatment to go wrong. Tolerability is extremely high, side effects are rare and there are no psychoactive effects, unlike CBD’s close cousin, THC.
For the average eczema sufferer, CBD cannot be viewed as a panacea, or even as a replacement therapy for most drugs. It can be experimented with relatively safely, and when legally available, it can be obtained in pure and measurable doses. The continuing illegality of this drug in many states makes it difficult to obtain in quantities and qualities that make proper personal experimentation possible, and this site cannot recommend obtaining CBD if it is illegal in the state in which you reside.
This places eczema sufferers in a position where a potentially helpful treatment is starting to gain ground but can result in serious jail time for those caught in possession in some states. For something as innocuous and harmless as CBD, it seems preposterous that this would be the case, but that is the unfortunate reality. For those lucky enough to live in a state where CBD is legal, it is a relatively inexpensive drug that is worth trying.
Common skin conditions like eczema, acne and allergic reactions can be affected by CBD in a positive way, if the mountains of anecdotal evidence is to be believed. CBD oil can be added to topical creams like anti-emollients and antihistamines. Applied to the affected area, CBD could help reduce inflammation and itching. Try a small dose to begin with, then observe the effects. CBD should only be used under the direction of a licensed medical practitioner and only with their advice.