CBD and Psoriasis: What You Need to Know
Psoriasis is a persistent skin disease that leaves its victims in constant discomfort and often feeling self-conscious. Among the various types of psoriasis, inverse psoriasis is particularly distressing due to its painful and hard-to-reach location.
Moreover, the link between psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease further complicates the treatment process.
In this sea of agony, a beacon of hope emerges – CBD (Cannabidiol). Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD has been increasingly implicated as a potential psoriasis treatment.
But how effective is it really?
Join us as we explore the science, benefits, and application of CBD in managing psoriasis. Dive in to uncover a potential game-changer in the struggle against this relentless skin condition.
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin disease characterized by itchy, scaly patches that predominantly affect the knees, elbows, trunk, and scalp. Although anyone can suffer from this affliction, the National Psoriasis Foundation notes that it is more common in adults.
The disease is primarily caused by an overactive body’s immune system that triggers excessive production of skin cells. These additional skin cells then form scales and red patches that are often painful.
Dry skin is a common occurrence in psoriasis patients, with the dryness extending beyond the areas with visible patches. In some cases, psoriasis can also affect skin folds, leading to discomfort and mobility issues.
Understanding and managing psoriasis involves a comprehensive approach that targets not just the visible symptoms, but the root cause in the body’s immune system.
- Dry Skin Lesions, Known as Plaques, Covered in Scales: The most common symptom is these dry skin lesions that appear as red patches covered in white scales. They often cause discomfort and itching.
- Severe Psoriasis: In severe cases of psoriasis, these plaques can cover large areas of the body. This can lead to significant physical discomfort and potential mobility issues.
- Psoriasis Affects Various Body Parts: Psoriasis can affect any part of the body, including the scalp, nails, and even joints in some instances.
- Diagnose Psoriasis through Visible Symptoms: Psoriasis is typically diagnosed through the identification of its unique skin lesions. A skin biopsy may also be conducted for confirmation.
- Erythrodermic Psoriasis: This is a rare but severe form of psoriasis. It can cause widespread fiery redness over most of the body, and it may lead to serious health complications if not treated promptly.
- Other Symptoms: Other symptoms of psoriasis may include joint pain (particularly in psoriatic arthritis), severe itching, and changes in nail appearance.
Types of Psoriasis
Pustular psoriasis is a rare type of psoriasis that produces pus-filled blisters on the skin. It’s often triggered by an overactive immune system or factors like stress, infection, or certain medications.
In some cases, a strep throat infection could precede the onset of Pustular psoriasis. The primary symptom includes the development of white blisters surrounded by red, affected skin.
Pl psoriasis, the predominant form of psoriasis, manifests as raised, red patches adorned with a collection of dead skin cells or plaques. It is imperative to enhance the linguistic composition, structural integrity, readability, and eloquence while preserving the essence of the original content.
These patches can occur anywhere on the body but are most often found on the knees, elbows, and scalp. Intense itching and discomfort often accompany this type of psoriasis, leading to psoriasis flare-ups.
Psoriasis and Psoriatic arthritis are closely linked conditions, and in some cases, they can occur concurrently. Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis affecting some people who have psoriasis.
It typically develops a few weeks after the onset of psoriasis and can affect any joint in the body. In addition to skin symptoms, patients may experience joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, significantly impacting their quality of life. It’s essential to get a psoriasis diagnosis as early as possible to manage its symptoms effectively.
Guttate psoriasis commonly occurs in childhood or young adulthood, often following a strep throat infection. This type often appears as small, dot-like lesions on the torso, arms, and legs. Unlike plaque psoriasis, guttate psoriasis comes on suddenly and can cover a significant portion of the body.
Nail psoriasis is a manifestation of psoriasis that affects the fingernails and toenails, causing pitting, abnormal nail growth, and discoloration. The disease can also cause the nail to separate from the nail bed. While it’s not as common as other forms, its impact on patients’ daily activities and self-esteem can be significant.
Scalp psoriasis can be extremely itchy and visible, causing embarrassment and discomfort. In addition to the scaly skin and plaques common to all types of psoriasis, scalp psoriasis can cause temporary hair loss, making it a particularly common triggers distressing variant.
It’s worth noting that while the exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, it’s linked to an overactive immune system and genetic factors. For those asking if is psoriasis contagious, the answer is no. Psoriasis cannot be spread from person to person and does not require special precautions beyond normal hygiene practices.
Furthermore, the connection between celiac disease and psoriasis has been recognized in various research studies, indicating that a gluten-free diet might improve symptoms in some individuals.
Common Psoriasis Treatments
Psoriasis treatments aim to manage symptoms and control the rapid growth of new skin cells that occur in this condition. As we have understood, psoriasis develops when the immune system mistakenly speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells.
The alternative treatments being discussed below aim to slow this process and alleviate the discomfort associated with psoriasis.
Topical steroids are frequently the first line of defense against psoriasis, especially for mild to moderate cases. They work by reducing inflammation and curbing the excessive production of skin cells.
These creams or ointments are applied directly to the skin and can provide significant relief from itching and scaling. Nevertheless, prolonged usage can result in potential side effects. Hence, it is crucial to employ them with the supervision and guidance of a healthcare professional..
Retinoid creams are another common treatment option for managing psoriasis symptoms. Derived from Vitamin A, these creams help slow the growth of new skin cells, reducing the appearance of scales and plaques.
They can be particularly effective for certain types of psoriasis, including plaque psoriasis and psoriasis that affects the skin folds. Note that retinoids can cause skin irritation and increase sensitivity to sunlight, so it’s crucial to use sun protection when using these and other treatments too.
Light therapy or phototherapy is sometimes used to manage psoriasis, particularly in severe cases or when topical treatments have not been effective. This therapy involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light under controlled conditions to slow the growth of new skin cells.
In cases of severe or treatment-resistant psoriasis, systemic medications may be used. These drugs, which include methotrexate and biologics, work by suppressing the immune system’s overactive response fight inflammation.
They are often prescribed to young adults, especially those with psoriatic arthritis, to halt the disease’s progress and manage symptoms.
Finally, making certain lifestyle changes can also help manage symptoms of psoriasis. These can include maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding triggers such as stress and alcohol, and following a balanced, nutritious diet.
While these changes cannot cure psoriasis, they can significantly improve the quality of life and overall health, for those living with this chronic condition.
The Role of CBD in Managing Psoriasis
Now, let’s talk about the role of CBD in managing psoriasis. CBD is a phytocannabinoid found in cannabis plants, including hemp and marijuana.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound extracted from cannabis plants. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana, CBD does not produce a “high” or any form of intoxication. It’s often lauded for its potential therapeutic properties, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities.
Owing to these properties, CBD has been increasingly investigated for its potential use in managing various health and skin conditions,, including psoriasis.
How CBD Helps Manage Psoriasis Symptoms
CBD may potentially help manage psoriasis symptoms in several ways:
- Anti-inflammatory Properties: CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory capabilities. Inflammation is a significant factor in psoriasis; hence, CBD’s potential anti-inflammatory effects might help reduce the redness and swelling associated with psoriasis lesions.
- Regulation of Skin Cell Growth: CBD may help regulate the rapid growth and division of skin cells that lead to psoriasis patches. By potentially slowing down this process, CBD might help manage the appearance and progression of psoriasis.
- Pain Relief: Psoriasis can often be painful, especially when the patches become dry and cracked. CBD may help in providing pain relief due to its potential analgesic properties.
- Stress and Anxiety Reduction: Stress and anxiety can trigger psoriasis flare-ups. CBD has been studied for its potential anxiety-reducing properties, which may help manage stress levels and potentially decrease the frequency of psoriasis outbreaks.
- Improvement of Sleep Quality: Sleep disturbances are common among people with psoriasis. Since CBD can potentially improve sleep quality, it may indirectly help manage psoriasis symptoms by promoting a more relaxed state and improved sleep.
It’s essential to remember that while CBD may show promise in managing psoriasis symptoms, it is not a cure. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment plan or regimen.
How to Use CBD for Psoriasis
There are different ways to use CBD for psoriasis, including oral ingestion, topical application, and inhalation.
Let’s discuss each of these in more detail:
Topical CBD Products for Psoriasis
Topical CBD products such as creams, lotions, and salves can be applied directly to the skin. These products may help manage skin inflammation and reduce redness and itching associated with psoriasis.
They often contain other skin-soothing ingredients like shea butter and aloe vera. However, results can vary widely, and it’s important to test a small amount first to ensure it doesn’t cause irritation.
Oral CBD for Psoriasis
Oral CBD products, including oils, capsules, and edibles, can be taken internally to potentially manage systemic symptoms of psoriasis. Oral CBD may help reduce inflammation and provide relief from pain and discomfort.
It may also promote restful sleep, helping to alleviate sleep disturbances often experienced by people with psoriasis. As always, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment regimen.
Potential Risks and Side Effects of Using CBD for Psoriasis
- Liver Damage: High doses of CBD can potentially cause liver injury, especially in individuals with pre-existing liver disease.
- Interactions with Other Medications: CBD can interfere with the metabolism of certain medications, potentially leading to adverse effects.
- Cardiovascular Risks: Individuals with heart disease should exercise caution when using CBD, as it can cause changes in heart rate and blood pressure.
- Mood Alterations: Some individuals may experience mood swings, irritability, or other changes in mood.
- Gastrointestinal Issues: CBD can cause digestive issues such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in some individuals.
- Dry Mouth: CBD can cause a sensation of dry mouth in some users.