Among the many properties of CBD, of particular interest is its ability to benefit and relieve skin problems such as dermatitis, redness, and irritation through its soothing effect. In this article, we will explore the effectiveness of CBD in dermatology, how it interacts with skin receptors, and the possible applications of cosmetics containing CBD in the treatment of dermatitis.
What is Dermatitis?
Dermatitis or eczema is a very common skin disorder, which includes some symptoms such as irritation, itching, redness, dryness and inflammation that cause discomfort during normal daily activities and discomfort in interpersonal relationships. This type of skin condition is not contagious, and the causes can be of various types, causing different manifestations of this pathology, which is why dermatitis is classified into different types. Let's see the main ones:
- Atopic Dermatitis: This is a common allergic manifestation with little-known causes that presents itself as an inflammatory disorder, with a chronic tendency, characterized by itching, dryness and peeling. The onset of this skin disorder is mainly in the pediatric age and is not infectious.
- Psoriasis: This is characterized by a chronic inflammatory process associated with hyperproliferation of keratinocytes, and presents with reddish skin lesions and scaly skin. The causes are multifactorial and are mainly related to genetic, environmental, and immune system dysfunctions.
- Contact dermatitis: This type of dermatitis results from direct skin contact with irritating or allergenic substances such as certain fabrics, some detergents, perfumes, medicines, or metals such as chromium and nickel. In the case of irritants, before the disease occurs, a contact time between the skin and the substance must be determined, while for the allergic-type manifestation even a small amount of allergen is sufficient to trigger sensitization.
- Seborrheic dermatitis: This mainly affects the face and scalp and is typical for those with oily skin. It is caused by an overactivity of the sebaceous glands with the consequent formation of scales, dandruff, and the appearance of burning, itching and redness.
Prevention, treatment and conventional care
As a multifactorial skin disease, there are many preventive remedies requiring constant attention to personal habits, lifestyle and the care of one’s environment. For example, it is advisable to wear clothes made of natural and breathable fabrics, to maintain the right level of skin hydration through the daily use of moisturizing cosmetic products, to avoid excessive exposure of the skin to the sun's rays, or too high temperatures, and to limit contact with allergens.
Dermatitis can be treated variously, either by pharmacology therapy based on cortisone, anti-inflammatory drugs, or antibiotics, or by applying topical treatments with a cleansing, emollient, and humectant action. The choice of treatment depends on the cause of dermatitis and it is essential to associate it with a healthy diet based on vitamins, essential fatty acids and probiotics, and with proper personal hygiene through the use of delicate detergents that keep the skin soft.
Among the numerous products for topical use, adjuvants in the treatment of dermatitis, some active ingredients such as CBD have been found to have an extraordinarily beneficial effect in relieving the symptoms of this pathology such as redness, itching and the annoyances of dryness. Numerous studies have ascertained the properties of CBD and its potential benefit on the skin, and for this reason, research has deepened its topical application in the treatment of dermatitis, achieving remarkable results.
How does CBD affect dermatitis?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active ingredient extracted from hemp, a herbaceous plant from which it is possible to obtain different extracts, such as CBD oil, with numerous beneficial properties such as antioxidant, emollient, restorative, and soothing actions. Its use on the skin is often associated with treatments for aesthetic purposes only, such as the smoothing of wrinkles and the increase of skin tone, but its beneficial properties also extend to more severe skin conditions such as acne and dermatitis, attracting the attention of many doctors and scholars.
In particular, the ability of CBD to alleviate some complications of dermatitis such as redness and itching by inhibiting the release of histamine, interfering with bacterial proliferation by acting as an antimicrobial, and also the ability to mediate the allergic response present mainly in contact dermatitis. Given these studies, CBD has shown great applicability in the treatment of dermatitis and has attracted the interest and consideration of many scientists and dermatologists for its topical use.
The endocannabinoid system: how cells interact with CBD
CBD interacts with specific receptors known as cb1 and cb2 in the same way, whatever the form in which it is administered (cream, oil, capsule). These receptors allow interfacing with the endocannabinoid system which is present both at the level of neuronal endings and in the skin.
It is believed that the function of the endocannabinoid system in the skin is to regulate general homeostasis, mediate inflammatory responses and stimulate the synthesis of lipids and other substances that make up the epidermis, promoting regeneration. Several studies have also shown how the endocannabinoid system was involved in dermatological problems such as dermatitis. A study  conducted in 2011 showed the involvement of the cb2 receptor in the inflammatory process of contact dermatitis, arousing interest in CBD as a functional element in the treatment of these symptoms.
In light of these results, scientific research is continuing on the properties of CBD indicating an increasingly broad spectrum of applications potentially useful in the treatment of skin problems such as dermatitis. The CBD molecule remains a substance with extraordinary benefits that are still too undervalued, and which deserve to be exploited to the fullest to obtain the maximum benefit that this precious extract can give. Basu S, Dittel BN. Unravelling the complexities of cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) immune regulation in health and disease. Immunol Res. 2011; 51 (1): 26-38.