This story was updated with new reporting and data on September 3, 2019.
Minor skin complaints are common and spring from everything from weather conditions to clothes detergents to stress and diet; but eczema — a catch-all term for dry, red, inflamed and painful skin — surpasses a simple irritation. Clinically known as atopic-dermatitis, it usually emerges during youth and can continue throughout an adult’s life.
Eczema is tough to treat — it can appear randomly and not always in the same place. It most commonly presents on the hands, feet, elbows, or face — sometimes all at once. This makes it that more difficult to find the right treatment as over-the-counter creams for the hands don’t necessarily work for eczema on the face. In this case, buying a different cream for each body part can start to get expensive.
Not only are they expensive, prescribed steroid creams often used to treat eczema can cause premature ageing and even severe mood changes. Because of this, many patients are continually seeking out alternative therapies that can soothe their eczema without side effects.
That’s where CBD may come in. Research is still nascent, but early studies suggest that the anti-inflammatory properties found in high-quality CBD oil may be beneficial in treating a number of skin conditions, including eczema.
Cannabinoids have actually been used to treat skin conditions for hundreds of years. In fact, the first known textbook on dermatology referred to cannabis as a recommended treatment for skin disorders. One of the founders of American dermatology, and founding editor of the Journal of Cutaneous and Venereal Diseases, Dr. Henry Granger Piffard stated in the textbook: “A pill of cannabis indica at bedtime has at my hands sometimes afforded relief to the intolerable itching of eczema.”
While cannabis products may bring relief, there’s no known cure for eczema. CBD products shouldn’t be thought of as a “miracle solution” — used topically, they may help to soothe eczema symptoms. For example, a common eczema symptom is incessant itchiness and the corresponding inability to ignore skin irritation. Itchiness is usually the most annoying part about having eczema. But consistently scratching the same area only makes eczema worse. In rare cases, incessant scratching can cause the area to bleed. Because CBD is a strong anti-inflammatory, it’s reportedly able to lessen the irritation and, therefore, the sufferer’s impulse to scratch the affected area.
According to a study done at the University of Colorado, CBD products are useful for eczema symptoms and, in some cases, could be used in replace of steroids.
Dr Robert Dellavalle, a main researcher of the study stated that: “There’s a large segment of the population that doesn’t like using steroids, even if they are topical steroids on their skin. CBD could be an alternative, natural product for them to try … So, when we have somebody who has tried topical steroids or topical immuno-modulators that suppress the immune system for psoriasis or eczema and they haven’t gotten completely better, there’s a potential of using this new therapy that might work in a different way and help them”.
CBD products need to be researched carefully for treating eczema as some are more harsh on the skin than others. Whether you choose to use CBD topically or internally, start with a small dose and gradually work your way up. This way, you’ll know if the product is compatible with your skin without doing too much damage it
Most of the time, CBD topicals are the best option for treating eczema. They can be applied directly to the affected area. s. Make sure that the topical CBD cream you choose is specifically for eczema or skin conditions — it’s easy to pick up a CBD cream for muscle pain which could cause further irritation.
Otherwise, there are CBD capsules or oils. However, they require a longer time to reach the bloodstream — sometimes taking up to an hour to notice any effects.
Depending on your skin type and the severity of the eczema, changes may begin within a few days. While the improved appearance of eczema may not be noticed immediately, irritation and pain should be reduced.