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With its popularity increasing all the time, CBD oil and cream is now being used to help relieve the symptoms of common dermatological conditions. With an estimated 125 million people suffering from psoriasis across the world alone – equating to between two and three per cent of the population – sufferers are starting to look for new and alternative treatments; CBD oil is one of the more popular options.

In this blog, we look at what psoriasis is, different types of the condition and whether or not CBD oil could be the solution you’ve been looking for.

What is psoriasis?

Usually common in young adults, psoriasis is a disorder where skin cells multiply faster than normal, leading to an increase of as much as ten times the usual speed. It affects the skin, with cases of psoriasis on every part of the body, but it primarily occurs on the scalp, knees, elbows and back.

Symptoms of psoriasis can range from being subtle and mildly irritating to visually unpleasant and severe. Psoriasis often appears as bright red skin with cracked pieces of scaled skin covering the surface. If it is left without treatment, it’s likely to worsen and eventually bleed, and it could even spread across different areas of your body. Other signs of psoriasis include discoloration, pitting or complete detachment of fingernails and toenails, the appearance of crusty dry skin on the scalp, and a feeling of stiffness or pain throughout the body.

A person suffering from symptoms of psoriasis on their hand

What are the different kinds of psoriasis?

There are seven different types of psoriasis, each with their own symptoms and treatments. By identifying the variant that you’re suffering from, you’re able to work out the best solution for treating it. The primary types of psoriasis include:

  • Erythrodermic psoriasis/ exfoliative psoriasis -With an appearance similar to severe burns, erythrodermic psoriasis is rare but extremely serious, and is likely to require immediate attention. If untreated, it could spread across the body and, in extreme cases, prevent you from being able to moderate your own temperature.
  • Guttate psoriasis -Recognised as being the second most common type of psoriasis, guttate psoriasis affects ten per cent of sufferers. The symptoms tend to first appear during childhood or teenage years, where small spots appear on the torso and limbs. Over time, this could develop into plaque psoriasis.
  • Inverse psoriasis/ flexural psoriasis -Typically appearing under folds of skin such as armpits, breasts or the groin, inverse psoriasis is often incorrectly diagnosed as a bacterial or fungal infection. In fact, it is a type of psoriasis that is shiny and smooth due to being in areas that produce sweat. Although this means there isn’t as much cracked skin, the chafing sensation within folds of skin can be extremely painful.
  • Plaque psoriasis/ psoriasis vulgaris -Accounting for around eighty per cent of psoriasis sufferers, plaque psoriasis is the most common form, affecting knees, elbows, backs and the scalp. It usually appears as red patches on the skin with a white, dry layer masking it.
  • Pustular psoriasis -Developing quickly and often causing symptoms similar to the flu, pustular psoriasis can be severe. It impacts any part of the body, including more isolated areas such as hands and feet, and it appears as a red and scaly texture that can spread across the body without treatment.
  • Nail psoriasis -Despite not always being considered a type of psoriasis by experts, nail psoriasis is worth mentioning as it is closely linked to the condition. Simply put, it is a psoriasis that only affects fingers and toes, leading to pitting, grooves, discolouration, skin swelling under the nail or detachment of the nail from the skin.
  • Psoriatic arthritis -Unique from all other forms of psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis (PSA) is a combination of sore and swollen joints and the general symptoms of psoriasis. There are many different types of this condition such as asymmetric PSA, distal interphalangeal predominant PSA, psoriatic arthritis mutilans, spondylitis PSA and symmetric PSA.

What is used to treat psoriasis?

As there are several different types of psoriasis, treatments for the condition come in different forms. How you choose to treat psoriasis is mainly based on the type of psoriasis you’re suffering from and the severity of your symptoms, but there are usually three main options.

The first is to use a topical cream or ointment that you can manually apply to your skin. The second is to look at taking medication to treat your entire body, with options for injecting or taking orally. The third option would be to look at using ultraviolet light, which is often a last resort if the other two treatments haven’t had the desired effect.

Could CBD oil help my psoriasis?

Although experts haven’t hailed CBD oil as being a guaranteed cure for psoriasis, many of the studies around it have recorded positive results. An article in the February 2007 edition of the Journal of Dermatological Science suggested that the cannabinoids in CBD prevent the multiplication of skin cells, reducing the process which directly causes the condition.

The results of a clinical trial from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia Medical School pointed towards CBD products improving the quality of skin that has been affected by skin disorders such as psoriasis. In this trial, the overall conclusion was that CBD oil was an acceptable alternative for taking away the soreness of psoriasis due to the anti-inflammatory components.