Hemp seed oil itself has had some success with the symptoms of eczema. As these conditions are characterized by overly dry skin, hemp seed oil can moisturize the skin while avoiding further irritation. In eczema, dry skin occurs due to excessive transepidermal water loss, as persistent inflammation compromises the skin’s ability to act as a barrier. Hemp seed oil may also provide the key to controlling the imbalance that underlies the condition. Its high concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are believed to reduce itching and inflammation better than moisturizers that are low in PUFAs. Linoleic acid in particular is thought to be particularly effective.
There is also evidence to suggest that dietary hemp seed oil can raise levels in the epidermis and make eczematous skin look more like the fatty acid profile found in ‘normal’ skin. In 2005, Dr. J. Callaway, published a study done in Finland in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment documenting the treatment of eczema using hemp seed oil. Dr. Callaway found that symptoms of skin dryness and itching improved significantly in eczema patients after using hemp seed oil for 20 weeks. Dietary hemp seed oil increased endogenous levels of two essential fatty acids (EFAs), linoleic acid , an omega-6, and a-linolenic acid, an omega-3, as well as boosting levels of linolenic acid (omega-6). In addition, transepidermal water loss decreased, subjective levels of skin dryness and itchiness improved, and the perceived need for medication among patients was reduced. So hemp seed oil can be used together, internally and externally to help with the symptoms of eczema.