If you experience eczema, you’ve likely gone through a series of steroid creams, moisturizers and home remedies, hoping for any kind of relief from the scaly, swollen inflammation and irritating rashes associated with it. If you feel as though you’ve tried every oatmeal bath on Pinterest, there may still be a treatment you haven’t tried: Cannabidiol, or CBD, which comes from the cannabis plant.
What’s CBD, and How Might it Help My Eczema?
CBD is one of many chemical components known as cannabinoids. While that word might not be so familiar to you, you may already be acquainted with another that’s closely related: tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
THC was all the wellness rage a couple of years ago for its ability to reduce pain and anxiety. But, it holds the caveat that those who use it might experience a rush of endorphins which lead to copious amounts of euphoria. This effect causes the high that is associated with marijuana high, but not everyone is interested in experiencing it.
This, along with new extraction methods, have pointed to CBD as the possible answer. Like THC, CBD has demonstrated its propensity for reducing pain and inflammation.
Along with its potential as a potent, yet safe, painkiller, CBD may also assist in a wide variety of dermally-related disorders. This includes the most common group of skin conditions known singularly as eczema.
Understanding the Itch: What is Eczema?
Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is a skin condition known for its symptoms of itchy, red skin, which may appear in the form of sudden breakouts and/or recurring, chronic rashes. Eczema occurs most commonly in children, but can make its appearances well into adulthood. At its worst, eczema symptoms can be almost unbearable, as rashes can be inflamed to the point that they are hot to the touch, which can make the most basic activities difficult.
Move Over, Coconut Oil
Eczema has no cure, and its causes are still not fully understood. However, symptoms can be treated. While those with the most severe forms may require a prescription cream, many individuals find relief in home remedies with natural ingredients such as coconut oil, which cools inflammation.
As you might have guessed, CBD may be poised to replace this fragrant and healthy oil as the premiere natural remedy for eczema. This is due to the research conducted demonstrating its anti-inflammatory abilities, which can soothe even chronic pain such as that which occurs in arthritis, as shown by this 2016 study. Similarly, CBD can be an efficient method for soothing the inflammation caused by an eczema breakout, and what’s even more is that another study conducted in 2014 demonstrated that CBD can inhibit the buildup of skin cells, which is partly what leads to dry, flaky skin. CBD is also an antibacterial agent, which means that applying CBD ointment to an eczema flare-up can also protect it from infections as it assists in soothing and repairing damaged tissue.
Finally, the restorative benefits that CBD offers mean that it might even be able to help repair and fade scars caused by especially severe rashes; this study showed that CBD can hasten the turnover of skin cells and help repair scar tissue caused by severe acne.
How to Use CBD for Eczema Relief
It’s recommended that you use CBD that comes in the form of a body lotion or ointment so that you can apply it directly to the parts of your body most troubled by eczema symptoms. The ideal product will come from a reputable brand and contain other soothing ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil, and oatmeal. Products containing fragrance are not recommended for eczema rashes, as they might irritate them more.
For a fuller understanding of trustworthy CBD companies, see our Brand of the Month page.
Please note that while CBD may very possibly be the right remedy for you, it should not be used to replace any prescription medications, but rather as a supplement alongside it, but if you are seriously interested in switching your steroid cream for a CBD treatment, talk to your general physician or dermatologist beforehand. CBD may not be suitable for those who are taking liver medications or blood thinners.
If you wish to alleviate the swelling, inflammation, and uncomfortable rashes caused by eczema, you may find some considerable relief from CBD, as it’s shown a capacity for reducing inflammation, fighting bacteria and assisting in repairing scar tissue. While CBD should not be seen as a replacement for prescription drugs of any ailment without medical supervision, it can offer significant respite for most individuals.