CBD for Eczema: Does it Work?

About CBD, Conditions

CBD for Eczema

Itchy, inflamed, and cracking skin would be enough to drive anyone up a wall. But if it was a chronic condition that kept coming back? That’s what people living with eczema live with. Today we’re going to talk about how utilizing CBD for eczema might be able to help.

CBD for Eczema at a glance

What the claims are: CBD can help relieve the symptoms and complications of eczema, including itchy, dry, cracking skin and inflammation.

What the studies show: While more studies are needed, to date, research seems to show that CBD for eczema may help with inflammation, itching, and skin dryness.

What the facts say: Early studies as well as anecdotal evidence appear to support that adopting a CBD regimen is beneficial for many people struggling with eczema.

What Exactly Is Eczema?

Eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis) is a skin condition that most commonly presents in childhood. It causes the skin to become red and itchy, sometimes in patches. This is a chronic condition that tends to flare periodically and is sometimes accompanied by asthma or hay fever.

There is no known cure for eczema, but treatments and skin care can relieve itching and help stave off outbreaks. It’s usually recommended that those suffering from eczema avoid harsh soaps, moisturize their skin regularly, and utilize medicated ointments in order to keep their eczema under control.

Symptoms of this disorder vary, but often include:

  • Dry skin
  • Itching, especially at night
  • Red to brownish-gray patches, typically on extremities, neck, chest, eyelids, or inside the bend of the elbows and knees
  • Raised bumps
  • Thick, cracked, scaly skin
  • Skin irritated from scratching

The cause of eczema seems to be a gene variation that affects the skin’s ability to protect itself by retaining moisture, which normally staves off bacteria and allergens. In some children, food allergies may also play a role in causing eczema.

Complications of eczema include neurodermatitis, which can cause the skin to become thick and leathery, skin infections due to scratching and causing sores and cracks, and sleep problems due to the discomfort and itching. More than 50% of children with eczema also develop asthma and hay fever by age 13.

While some people have mild eczema they can typically control through self-care, others can experience outbreaks that are completely debilitating. Triggers for this disorder can range from things like cigarette smoke, sweat, and household cleaners to sunscreen, sunshine, and stress. Foods known to cause outbreaks for some people with eczema include:

  • Citrus
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Gluten
  • Vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves
  • Tomatoes
  • Certain types of nuts, especially peanuts

How Can CBD Be Used to Help with Eczema?

CBD for Eczema

CBD for eczema can be a potential help in a multitude of ways. First, it can work to eliminate inflammation and pain. It can also assist with skin dryness. Alleviating those symptoms helps with the itching that can be so excruciating for many people suffering from eczema.

Due to the constant cycle of feeling itchy and scratching, sleep patterns can also be disturbed. Luckily, CBD has been shown to facilitate relaxation and help regulate sleep patterns.

CBD can also help alleviate stress, which is a trigger for some people with eczema and may result in fewer flare ups.

Medical Studies Related to CBD for Eczema

Long term studies and trials are needed, but there is some good early evidence supporting claims that CBD for eczema could be the answer that many people with this disorder have been looking for.

A recent study done by a team at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus showed that 8 of 21 patients who applied a cannabinoid cream twice a day found that their severe itching was completely eliminated by the end of week three.

What Are the Risks of Using CBD for Eczema?

There aren’t many. Though it is considered to be safe, some people find that CBD for eczema can help with skin dryness, or the itch, but doesn’t necessarily address all of their symptoms. Other people don’t seem to find relief at all.

Aside from that, CBD is known to be well-tolerated by people who take it, and it comes with very few potential side effects. Especially in comparison with some of those that can present with topical steroids often used to treat eczema, which include:

  • Thinning of the skin
  • Skin thickening
  • Stretch marks
  • Darkening of the skin

Less common, but more severe side effects of steroids include:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Bumps on the skin
  • Acne
  • Folliculitis
  • Adrenal suppression
  • Topical Steroid Addiction/Withdrawal

Because cannabis and its compounds are sometimes stigmatized, it’s also important to note that, according to a recent study by the World Health Organization, CBD is not associated with abuse potential. This is especially reassuring when dealing with a disorder that affects children, such as eczema.

Should I Give CBD for Eczema Try?

To date, studies seem to support the benefits of CBD for eczema. The response online and in the media is also largely positive, and many are finding it helps with a variety of the symptoms that can present with this disorder.

Everyone’s healthcare journey is unique, so you should check with your provider to determine if CBD for eczema is right for you. And, if you’re currently taking any prescription medications, you should check with your pharmacist to ensure that CBD won’t interact with any of them in a negative way.

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Last modified: June 20, 2019