January 11, 2022

CBD for Skin Conditions: Eczema Elixir Extraordinaire?

More than 31.5 million Americans have eczema — so this irksome disease is very prevalent. You can develop eczema at any stage of life. And, eczema impacts people of all genders, ethnic backgrounds, and nationalities.(1)

There are many different treatments in circulation today. Is CBD among them? And, if so, how’s it stack up?

If you’ve got an itch to know, keep reading as we scratch the surface of this cutaneous topic.

Excuse Me, Explain Eczema Please!

Are you sure you even know what eczema is? It may surprise you that it’s actually the name given to a collection of non-contagious skin disorders.

Eczema includes seven conditions:

  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Dyshidrotic eczema
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Nummular eczema
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Stasis dermatitis

As an FYI — eczema is also called dermatitis or atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema, which is likely why it’s often used interchangeably with the word eczema.(2)

Signs & Symptoms

Dermatitis has several hallmark characteristics. Eczematic skin may be:

  • Itchy
  • Dry
  • Red
  • Rash-like
  • Bumpy
  • Crusty
  • Flaky
  • Inflamed
  • Irritated
  • Oozy
  • Rough
  • Scaly looking
  • Sensitive

These symptoms can land anywhere on the continuum of mild to severe. It’s also possible for the gravity of your eczema the change over time. Sometimes people sort of “grow out of it,” while others experience a worsening or shifts in how the condition manifests itself.

You should also know that there’s a link between eczema and allergies, asthma, and depression and anxiety.(3) So, be en guarde.

Causes & Triggers

No one knows for sure what the root cause of eczema is. But the medical community has found that it stems from a combination of heredity and environment.

They’ve also determined that dermatitis is an inflammatory disease involving the immune system. New research suggests that it may be a bona fide autoimmune condition.(4) Some types of eczema are allergic responses to offending stimuli.

This brings us to possible triggers, which are many and varied. Eczema flare-ups may happen due to:(5,6)

  • Allergens (e.g., pollen, pet dander, etc.)
  • Dry skin
  • Irritants (e.g., smoke, harsh chemicals, metals, perfumes, soaps, etc.)
  • Stress
  • Hormone fluctuations
  • Overexposure to water (Yes, you: long, hot showers!)
  • Dry air
  • Very hot or cold weather/climates
  • Microorganisms
  • Sweat
  • Infection
  • Insect bites

Standard Treatments

While there’s no cure for dermatitis, there are tons of treatments available to help deal with the symptoms, heal your skin, and prevent further episodes. Huddle up with your favorite dermatologist (or GP) to figure out a solution that’s ideal for your brand of eczema and other personal health and lifestyle needs.

You doc may offer up one or more of the following Rx or DIY remedies:(7)

  • Medicated topical creams or ointments
  • Light therapy
  • Oral or injectable meds
  • Biologics
  • Moisturizing
  • OTC anti-itch/anti-inflammation products
  • Wet compresses
  • Baths with baking soda, colloidal oatmeal, or diluted bleach
  • Medicated personal care products (like shampoo)
  • Free-and-clear laundry products
  • Avoiding things you know agitate your body (e.g., food allergens)
  • Stress management
  • Dietary and herbal supplements

According to the National Eczema Association, following a clean-treat-moisturize protocol can help keep your dermatitis in check.(8)

Easing Eczema, CBD Style

Every day research is expanding the arsenal of eczema treatment options. For example, new applications for certain biologics are showing lots of promise.(9)

But how about cannabidiol? Is there a place for CBD in managing dermatitis?

CBD For Skin Health

Pretty much everyone agrees that more and larger-scale studies need to be done. However, existing research is encouraging.

Our current body of knowledge indicates that CBD — in conjunction with your body’s endocannabinoid system — just might give the skin you’re in the TLC it needs. The trail of evidence shows that CBD is helping to relieve or resolve skin issues by:

  • Reducing swelling
  • Lessening redness
  • Alleviating pain
  • Minimizing scars
  • Facilitating the healing of open sores
  • Preventing and reversing UV damage

Plus, CBD’s credited with supporting people’s mental health. So, for those who experience anxiety or depression related to their skin conditions — CBD could attend to emotional well-being, too.

It’s CBD’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antidepressant, and dermal-protective attributes in action!

Let’s take a look at the findings for harnessing CBD’s greatness for medical skin disorders as well as everyday skin health.

Treating Skin Conditions With CBD

A 2020 review article concluded that CBD might help with a host of skin health needs.(10) Seriously, everything from wound care and pain relief to pigmentation issues and itch to skin protection and barrier function. Whew — that’s a big list!

The research team suggested that topical CBD treatments could benefit skin conditions like:

  • Eczema (We’ll come ack to this in a sec.)
  • Acne
  • Psoriasis
  • Pruritis
  • Epidermolysis bullosa(11)
  • Rosacea

CBD For Daily Skincare

For many of the same reasons CBD is breaking through as a potential star in the treatment of medical skin conditions, it’s all the rage in regular beauty and personal care products. It may assist your skin with:(12)

  • Plumping hydration
  • Evening your complexion
  • Combating sun damage
  • Mitigating blemishes and breakouts
  • Regulating oil production

You’ll find all manner of CBD-infused goods for the skin, hair, and nails. (Go ahead — open a new browser window and do a quick search. Can you say rabbit hole? Just come right back here!)

There’s also no shortage of DIY instruction so you can craft your own skin self-care products. We actually have several on this blog if you want to give them a go.

CBD For Mental Health Support

Because so many people with skin issues also experience depression, anxiety, self-esteem, and other psychological challenges, we wanted to speak to CBD’s capabilities in this realm. CBD has been shown to mediate stress, anxiety, depression, and other mood and behavior difficulties. You can find several posts on our blog that go into detail on these subjects — if you’re interested or it’s relevant.

Points being, though:

  1. It’s critical to take care of more than just your physical wellness.
  2. CBD may be able to help you with the mind, as well as the body, aspects of your skin health journey.

CBD Oil For Eczema

You’ve got a good fix on CBD’s general stake in skin health. So let’s go a bit more than skin deep on CBD and eczema specifically.

Does CBD for eczema work? Survey says: A very optimistic maybe. CBD may influence your dermatitis by helping to ease or prevent triggers as well as symptoms.

There isn’t much data to work from. Initial studies have typically been rather small and with varying levels of rigor. But let’s review what has been found.

According to the various studies, CBD has been found to be a safe, effective treatment for inflammatory skin disorders like atopic dermatitis. One expert stated that adults who want to give CBD a try for their dermatitis — “there’s little to lose.”(13)

The research indicates that CBD can:(14)

  • Relieve eczema-related dryness, itchiness, redness, pain, and inflammation
  • Heal wounds (But really, ya gotta not scratch at your skin!)
  • Strengthen skin and improve its barrier function
  • Help people with eczema sleep better

CBD can also intervene before you have flare-ups. For example, it could help you manage stress and allergies — both of which are eczema triggers. Cut the triggers off at the knees and you just might be able to avoid the itchy-scalies altogether.

Overall, it seems CBD may be able to enhance the quality of life for those with dermatitis.

How To Help Manage Eczema With CBD

You’ll want to start by discussing your needs with your healthcare team. Once you’ve got that down, it’s time to find the best-for-you CBD oil products.

  • Always get high-quality CBD products. Ones made from organic American hemp will ensure you aren’t loading pesticides, heavy metals, and other nastiness into/onto you body. You can refer to the product’s certificate of analysis to confirm its purity.
  • Get your CBD from a trustworthy supplier. A retailer worth its weight in CBD will be knowledgeable about cannabis and the products on its shelves. It’ll also have a solid presence in the marketplace and/or online (i.e., some sort of commercial or social proof).
  • Consider using a broad-spectrum CBD. This will provide you with complementary cannabinoids and cannabis compounds that should amplify the benefits of the CBD.
  • If you opt for ingestible CBD, look for CBD tinctures or drops, CBD gummies, or CBD softgels. They’re ideal for a more systemic method to using CBD and work from the inside-out. (But you can also use the CBD oil in DIY topicals.)
  • If you prefer using non-invasive external CBD formulations — go for a topical CBD ointment or cream. It’s great for a spot-treatment approach. As with other types of skin meds and products, doing a patch test may be a smart idea.
  • Begin with conservative doses to see how your body and eczema respond to the CBD. You can adjust your consumption as needed over time.

CBD’s A Win For Skin

Limited but growing research indicates CBD can help treat eczema, a very common skin condition most noted for itchy, rashy-looking skin. CBD’s many beneficial properties — anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, antidepressant, anti-pain, etc. — are to thank.

If you’re interested in trying CBD to ease your dermatitis woes, first consult with your doctor to determine the type of eczema you have and what treatment options are best suited to you. Then select an appropriate high-quality CBD oil product made from pure, domestic hemp — like one form Pure Craft!

LOVE THE SKIN YOU’RE IN WITH CBD

References

  1. (2021). Eczema Prevalence, Quality of Life and Economic Impact. National Eczema Association. https://nationaleczema.org/research/eczema-facts
  2. (2021). Eczema. MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/eczema.html
  3. (2021). October Is National Eczema Awareness Month – Here Are Some Facts You Should Know. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. https://community.aafa.org/blog/october-is-national-eczema-awareness-month-here-are-5-facts-you-should-know
  4. Sherrell, Z. (2021). Is eczema an autoimmune disease? Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/eczema-autoimmune
  5. Nall, R. (2021). What causes eczema to flare up? Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/what-causes-eczema-to-flare-up
  6. (2018). Eczema Triggers. National Eczema Association. https://nationaleczema.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/FactSheet_Triggers_FINAL.pdf
  7. (2021). Dermatitis - Diagnosis and treatment. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dermatitis-eczema/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20352386
  8. (2018). Caring for Eczema — Easy as 1, 2, 3. National Eczema Association. https://nationaleczema.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/FactSheet_Skincare_FINAL.pdf
  9. Grey, H. (2021). Eczema Clinical Trials: Treatment and More. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/eczema/eczema-clinical-trials-treatment-and-more
  10. Baswan, SM, et al. (2020). Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Skin Health and Disorders. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. https://doi.org/10.2147/ccid.s286411
  11. Cather, J. (2020). CBD in the Holistic Practice of Dermatology - Practical Dermatology. Practical Dermatology. https://practicaldermatology.com/articles/2020-july/cbd-in-the-holistic-practice-of-dermatology
  12. Xue, F. (2019). Confused About CBD in Skincare? Here’s Everything You Need to Know. https://www.byrdie.com/cbd-skincare#toc-benefits-of-cbd-for-skin
  13. (2020). Get the facts about CBD and eczema. National Eczema Association. https://nationaleczema.org/get-the-facts-cbd
  14. Curtis, L. (2021). Does CBD for Eczema Really Work? Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/cbd-for-eczema-facts-topicals-and-considerations-5194979


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