CBD Oil for Hidradenitis

Most people take pride in their skin’s appearance, and its condition can affect an individual’s self-confidence levels. People who suffer from hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) have to live with profound physical pain and a great deal of mental anguish. CBD oil not has not only been found to help target the underlying condition but has been shown in studies to help ease the symptoms of HS. Individuals who are living with this chronic skin disease must change their daily routines in order to ease the symptoms. The discomfort and pain experienced vary from person to person and range from mild flares that come and go to dealing with disturbances in everyday life and harsh prescription medications. Patients experience intense anxiety and depression with this lifelong illness because managing it is difficult. They will have to spend the rest of their lives doing so, because it’s incurable. CBD oil can bring life back into the physical and mental processes of anyone diagnosed with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS).

What exactly is hidradenitis suppurativa?

HS is a chronic skin condition that has no cure and usually starts shortly after puberty. It is characterized by painful bumps and abscesses that occur when someone is in a flared state, with a cyclic occurrence of breakouts and healing. It is also known as acne inversa and appears as pus filled pockets under the skin that can leave scars. They appear in the hair follicles around the sweat glands in the anogenital area, groin, arm pits, and generally where skin rubs together. Complications can occur when new scar tissue forms on top of previous scar tissue, causing the skin to thicken. It may even make the skin firm enough that it’s difficult to move. Fistulas may form inside the body in advanced cases, which are painful, hollow passages that only surgery can repair.

Patients who are diagnosed early and begin treatment right away realize better results in managing HS. Lifestyle changes and a combination of treatments can return someone to as normal a life as possible and reduce the amount of anxiety that they feel. No one is sure what causes HS, but some of the risk factors include:

  • Age – HS most commonly occurs in women between 18 and 29 years. Those diagnosed early may be more at risk of experiencing profound progression of the disease.
  • Gender – Women are diagnosed more often than men
  • Family history – Heredity is often a factor.
  • Obesity – Studies have proven a relationship between HS and weight, so appetite control can be helpful.
  • Smoking – Tobacco smoking has also been linked to HS.

What complications can occur in uncontrolled HS?

Persistent cases can progress over the course of years. The complications that can arise include:

  • Infections – when the bumps break open.
  • Scars and changes in skin – scars may form over the healing wounds, as well as rope-like scars over the skin
  • Obstructed lymph drainage – the common sites for the abscesses are close to lymph nodes, so the scar tissue can interfere with the function of the lymph system. This can lead to swelling in the legs, genitals, and arms.
  • Social isolation – where the sores are located, the drainage and possible odor that can occur when the pus drains can lead to a depression that can lead to someone not wanting to venture among the public. It is not caused by a hygiene issue and it is not contagious.

What are symptoms of HS and when should someone visit the doctor?

Early detection is key to controlling hidradenitis, so recognizing the symptoms that can indicate the beginning of an issue may appear as:

  • Blackheads
    • Small, pitted areas with blackheads that appear in pairs.
  • Tunnels
    • Sinus tracts between lumps that appear under the skin. They heal slowly, if ever, and can leak malodourous pus.
  • Painful, and sometimes itchy, bumps
    • Pea-sized lump under the skin that can last for weeks or months. It starts with one and increases in number that appear in hair follicles that surround many oil and sweat glands. They occur commonly around the armpits, groin, anal area, inner thighs, breasts, buttocks, and other places where the skin may be rubbing together.

What are the stages of HS?

Knowing how severe a case of HS presents itself can help determine the best treatment. It is graded in stages, which include:

  • Hurley Stage I – single bump with no sinus tracts
  • Hurley Stage II – more than one bump and only minimal tunneling
  • Hurley Stage III – numerous bumps involving an entire section of the body with many sinus tracts and scars.

How is HS treated?

The severity of each case varies, and doctors use this information to treat each person. They may try one or a combination of a few before finding the one that works for that patient. Treatments in mild cases of HS can include:

  • Warm compresses to the area and/or warm baths for 10 minutes at a time
  • Topical cleansing products, such as antibacterial soaps and antiseptics that reduce the number of bacteria in the area.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications – prescriptions may be necessary if over the counter ones do not make a difference although CBD oil can offer an alternative to those medications.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight to reduce skin friction in typically affected areas.
  • Loose-fitting clothing can reduce rubbing that evokes lump growth.
  • Healthy diet

Moderate disease that presents with painful skin lesions include:

  • Corticosteroids – drugs like prednisone can reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Antibiotic pills and cream treat the infected areas.
  • A biologic agent, like Adalimumab, is a tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitor that has shown promise
  • Birth control pills and acne-fighting drugs have also shown to be helpful

Severe cases may require more severe remedies, such as:

  • Lasers – used to clear new and deeper breakouts.
  • Unroofing – turning breakouts into scar tissue.
  • Abscess drainage – used to provide relief
  • Excision – cutting the lesions out and use skin grafts to replace the lost skin.
  • Punch debridement – limited unroofing removing only one lump.
  • Electrosurgery for tissue-sparing excision – combination of electrosurgical peeling and excision cutting out an affected area while sparing any skin loss.

How does CBD oil help HS?

Early treatment for this incurable disease is necessary in helping people manage this lifelong illness. Various methods of changing lifestyle can help, while incorporating an organic CBD oil may be the all-natural treatment someone didn’t have hope even existed. There are ways to ensure one chooses the best CBD oil, and many are wary due to the stigma that has surrounded the cannabis plant for decades. Cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, bind with the receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that is present in every animal. Cannabidiol (CBD) acts the same when ingested as if it was a naturally formed endocannabinoid. A plethora of clinical studies have shown that antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and pain-killing properties can be found with consistent use of CBD oil. Research has recently shown that cannabinoids reduce the sebaceous gland activity, while also reducing the cytokines that create inflammation. Living with a chronic illness like hidradenitis suppurativa can be devastating; however, taking organic CBD oil can help lessen the effects of the disease itself, as well as the symptoms.

References:

  1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17716-hidradenitis-suppurativa/management-and-treatment
  2. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03929835
  3. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/hidradenitis-suppurativa#1-1
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hidradenitis-suppurativa/symptoms-causes/syc-20352306

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