A large number of people the world over suffer from some form of eczema. It is a common skin condition that, unfortunately, does not have a permanent cure. Globally, eczema affects an estimated 23 percent of the population, with a whopping 20 percent being children. In the US alone, over 31 million people are affected by the condition.
Eczema has no cure. However, some treatments alleviate its symptoms, and how effective they depend on several factors such as type and severity of the condition.
Now, in recent years, cannabidiol oil (CBD oil) has shot into worldwide prominence as a revolutionary remedy for many ailments. A compound of the cannabis plant, CBD, contains anti-inflammatory properties as well as immune-boosting capabilities. These are two things that could prove useful in the fight against eczema.
Have clinical studies on eczema struck gold in CBD? That is what we are here to find out. Stick around.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is the general term for a group of skin conditions that leave a person with inflamed, itchy skin that has red or at times, dark patches.
The condition is most common in children and tends to manifest during childhood, but it can affect a person at any age. In many cases, eczema disappears as a child grows older. It is also common for the condition to follow a child into adulthood.
Also, contrary to popular belief, the condition is not contagious. You cannot infect another person, and you cannot catch eczema just by being around someone who has it.
Types of Eczema
Several skin conditions fall under the umbrella of eczema. Some of these are more common than others. So, let’s take a look at the most common types of the disease:
1. Atopic dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis, also known as atopic eczema, is the most common type of eczema. It is characterized by dry skin patches that are usually itchy, red and inflamed. The spots can appear anywhere on the body. But they are generally found on the face, neck, wrists, the back of the knees and elbows. The symptoms may range from mild to severe.
The condition can be passed down to a child if one of the parents has it or used to have it.
2. Dyshidrotic eczema
This form of eczema is also called pompholyx eczema and tends to appear in adults below the age of 40. The condition affects the hands and feet in the form of small rushes or blisters that are very itchy. Dyshidrotic eczema may be associated with other types of eczema, as it may occur in some people with contact eczema. However, it can also appear on its own.
3. Contact dermatitis
People with contact dermatitis tend to have adverse skin reactions when they come into contact with certain substances. These substances vary depending on the person and are essentially triggers for the condition. The symptoms may appear as dry, red, itchy skin that looks like it is peeling off. And the skin also has a burning sensation. It may also appear as a painful rash with red bumps.
There are two types of contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis occurs as a response to substances that irritate the skin. Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when the immune system responds to an allergen.
4. Varicose eczema
Varicose eczema is a form of skin condition that affects people with varicose veins. Most of the patients are usually seniors. According to studies, the disorder affects 20 percent of people above the age of 70. Varicose eczema is also known as venous eczema or stasis dermatitis.
The condition occurs when the veins in a person’s leg become weak due to old age or inactivity, and blood starts to leak into the nearby tissues. Patients suffer from dry, itchy skin that looks scaly or has crusty patches.
5. Discoid eczema
Discoid eczema (nummular eczema), is characterized by round spots on the skin that are often itchy, red and swollen. The patches usually appear on the forearms, upper body, and legs. The condition can affect a person at any age, and like all the other types of eczema, its causes are not fully understood.
6. Asteatotic eczema
This condition is also known as xerotic eczema or eczema cracquelée. It usually affects people over the age of 60. While its cause is not known, the condition is linked to decreased oil production on the skin, dryness, and roughness, which are characteristic of old age. It affects thighs, arms, and the lower back.
Symptoms of Asteatotic eczema may include cracked, dry skin with scaly appearance, itching, and soreness.
Make sure you go check out “CBD Dosage for Beginners (Science-Backed Facts)” before buying any CBD oil to see just how much dosage or potency you need.
How Is Eczema Diagnosed?
There aren’t any specific tests to diagnose eczema. However, there are patterns of symptoms that suggest you may have eczema. If you feel that you may have some of the symptoms we have mentioned, even if the symptoms are not limited to a specific type of eczema, the best thing you can do is reach out to a doctor or dermatologist.
Your doctor will carry out tests while putting into consideration your personal and family medical background. Then they will determine if you have eczema and which type it is.
Common Treatment Options
Since there is no known cure for eczema, treatments are restricted to preventive and relieving measures. Here are some of the common means people use to prevent and alleviate eczema:
It is worth noting that these listed measures may not work for everyone. They may also take varying lengths of time to work, depending on the type of eczema.
CBD Oil and Eczema
Most of the current eczema treatments like antihistamines, steroidal/non-steroidal medications and even topicals have side effects. They are also limited to dealing with specific triggers. For instance, antihistamines only work to prevent histamines. But there are dozens of other triggers, some known and some unknown.
CBD oil, with its natural anti-inflammatory properties, internal body regulation capabilities, and minimal side effects is a perfect candidate for eczema treatment.
While there is still little research on the subject, what we have of preliminary studies and anecdotal evidence shows highly promising results.
Check out our piece “CBD Side Effects Explained (Science Facts)” to see all the possible side effects that come with taking CBD oil.
How Can CBD Oil Help With Eczema?
Not long ago, it was discovered that our bodies have an endocannabinoid system. This system has cannabidiol receptors that work to keep the body balanced and healthy.
These receptors are CB1 and CB2. CB1 is mostly found in the brain, while CB2 is primarily found in the cells of the immune system. The best part is that these receptors interact with phytocannabinoids, such as CBD.
With this kind of interaction, cannabidiol oil can work internally on a cellular level to boost the immune system and equip it to fight eczema.
Once you understand a little about how the endocannabinoid system works, it will be easy to see why CBD is being hailed as a possible treatment for eczema.
Properties of CBD That Can Help Treat Eczema
1. Anti-microbial properties
Now, as we know, CBD has many health benefits for the skin, and one of the most important is its anti-microbial properties. The anti-microbial properties of CBD can help fight against bacteria and safeguard against bacterial or fungal infection on the skin.
2. Anti-inflammatory properties
All types of eczema we have seen can result in inflammation on the skin. Now, as we have mentioned earlier, CBD is well-known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties. CBD can help protect against inflammation or treat an already inflamed skin.
See also how CBD can help with your allergies in “Marijuana Allergy: Symptoms, Causes & More“.
3. Pain relief
Eczema can be painful, and it is mostly associated with itching. CBD is a potent pain reliever as it works with the endocannabinoid system to stimulate normal signals in the central nervous system. This will help your body achieve a state of balance or homeostasis.
4. Moisturizing properties
In all types of eczema, dry skin is a common problem that eventually leads to cracking and itching. CBD can help deal with this symptom as it contains natural moisturizing properties.
Full-spectrum CBD is the most potent form of the oil as it comes with hundreds of other essential compounds aside from cannabidiols. Some of these compounds are crucial to the health of your skin, and when used regularly, the benefits could be way more than we know.
Considering getting an oil soon? Check out “7 Things to Consider When Shopping For CBD Oil” to see some of our tips to notice before buying a CBD oil.
If you have been thinking about using CBD oil to manage your eczema, we suggest that you consult your doctor first. Your doctor will tell you whether CBD oil will help you manage your eczema. If you get the go-ahead to use CBD oil for eczema, you have the hard task of choosing a CBD oil.