How many times have you been to see the doctor/GP and you already what they are going to prescribe before you have even sat down? Before a word has been spoken, as most ailments tend to yield the same response. We have all been there and it can be very frustrating as you feel like you are going round in circles, with little or no progress…other than a pile of useless creams and tablets with an empty wallet.
Figures show that over 15 million people, with 1 in 5 children been diagnosed with eczema in the UK alone! People are more reluctant than ever to use chemicals on their skin, so maybe that’s why the use of CBD for eczema has gathered momentum recently, as peoples need for a natural alternative to your pharmacy prescription based products picks up pace.
Eczema and Its Frustrations
Eczema is the name for a group of skin conditions that cause dry, irritated skin.
Atopic eczema (known as atopic dermatitis) is the most common form of eczema, it’s a condition that can cause the skin to become itchy, dry and cracked. The word “Atopic” means sensitivity to allergens.
Some people only have small patches of dry skin, but others may experience widespread and long term inflamed skin all over the body. The Inflamed skin can become red on lighter skin and darker brown, purple or grey on darker skin.
Atopic eczema can affect any part of the body, but most often it affects the hands, insides of the elbows, backs of the knees and the face along with the scalp. People with atopic eczema usually have periods when symptoms are less noticeable, as well as periods when symptoms become more severe (flare-ups).
The exact cause of atopic eczema is unknown, but it’s clear it is not down to one single factor. Atopic eczema often occurs in people who get allergies. It frequently runs in families and often develops alongside other conditions such as hay fever and asthma.
The symptoms of atopic eczema often have certain triggers, such as detergents, soaps, stress and the weather. Sometimes food allergies can play a part, especially in young children with a case of severe eczema. It may be worth keeping a food diary to try to determine whether a specific food makes your symptoms worse.
Standard Prescription Issues
If you find yourself needing the help of a doctor, they may give you one of the following options:
To NOT itch or irritate the area in question. Now I think we can all agree that this is virtually impossible, unless you are some kind of shaolin monk with the mental fortitude we know they possess.
To prevent triggers such as certain fabrics, washing powders, detergents, soaps and if the heat makes you itch, then try to keep the room at a temperature that keeps you well regulated without the itch creeping up on you. This is more manageable than not touching the area of course.
Certain foods such as eggs and cows milk can cause issues, but it’s always worth speaking to your GP before any diet changes.
Emollients are moisturizing treatments applied directly to the skin to reduce water loss and cover it with a protective film. I have found in my experience that these rarely work and only prolong the misery of the eczema. After a week or so of applying enough of this like a layer of cement when building a brick wall, you will have to go back to see what else can be done for you.
If your skin is still sore and inflamed, your GP may prescribe a topical corticosteroid (also applied directly to your skin), which could reduce any inflammation within a few days.
These can be prescribed in different strengths, depending on the severity of your eczema and the areas of skin affected. These include from mild to severe – hydrocortisone, clobetasone butyrate, betamethasone diproprionate and clobetasol proprionate and diflucortolone valterate. When I have used these in the past on the back of my hand, all it did was disintegrate the skin in and around the area (just like Edward Nortons hand in Fight Club).
Can CBD Help? Were Just Scratching Surface
By this point I was considering all kinds of potions and “old wives tales” to rid me of this frustrating skin problem…
Then out of the blue, in my darkest hour, a friend randomly says “have you tried CBD for it?” To which I replied “why would I do such a thing old sport?” However, once I spent a little time researching it, I soon found it had potential and proceeded to find the elixir that would rejuvenate my poor and weary old skin.
CBD has skin calming and anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful in treating conditions such as eczema. How exactly does it work to repair this chronic skin condition? It all boils down to the endocannabinoid system and the receptors in our skin. Your endocannabinoid system is forming part of your immune system control, so eczema and other skin issues can be a sign that the immune system has problems. CBD is a perfect molecule for skin issues, since it’s plant-based and natural.
Cannabinoid receptors are present in the nervous system, which means CBD can help to soothe eczema symptoms such as itching and pain. Taking CBD triggers your natural endocannabinoid system (ECS) through the C1 and C2 receptors.
C1 receptors are found in the nervous system, organs and connective tissues. While C2 receptors are found in the immune system, bones, blood vessels endocrine glands and reproductive organs.
The cannabinoids that are produced are not only crucial but work with these receptors to regulate the body’s various systems. They can have a wide range of effects including changes to the immune system, pain response, blood pressure, body temperature, PH levels and inflammation amongst others.
Safe to say that after using CBD oil for just a few days, made me realise the effectiveness of this natural remedy. It rapidly reduced the redness and after a fortnight the issue had pretty much gone, with no itching or discomfort. So, it worked on me and I would highly recommend it, should you be thinking about an alternative to steroids.
CBD can be used to treat a range of issues including mental health, sleep problems, low appetite, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
What Products To Try and Ways To Apply
There are so many ways to take CBD, that it’s down to personal preference as to how to do so. If your eczema is mild, then a CBD topical cream applied directly to the skin could be all that’s required to rid you of the problem. If your eczema is a little more severe, then maybe consider a digestible method.
This could be with a vape pen, oil, capsules or topical creams. All are these are easily available, you can even add some oil to your food when cooking if you so desire? With various strengths on offer, you can try a product with a low amount of CBD in to start, then progress to a higher strength if you wanted or needed to.
Its also worth considering a full spectrum product over an isolate too, as research has shown that “the entourage effect” does work when dealing with issues such as eczema.
For Your Consideration…
There is no doubt that CBD holds many positive benefits not just for eczema, but many more ailments mentioned above and in other articles. We know there does need to be more human studies on the topic, but as a plant based, natural alternative to a chemical driven counterpart, CBD can offer some in need a way out of the itching, scratching, pain and worry eczema can cause. If you have used CBD for eczema or thinking of trying, then please leave your comments below. I would love to hear about it.
DISCLAIMER – always speak to your doctor/GP before any change to your diet or medication.