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CBD for Wounds, Scars, and Keloids: Does Cannabidiol Help Prevent Scars?

Injury to the skin causes the release of collagen that builds up in the damaged area to help heal and strengthen the wound. Post-injury or damage, it may take several months for the wound to heal. One complication that may arise during the healing process is the overgrowth of granulation tissue. The consequence may be small to large shiny fibrous nodules referred to as keloids. 

Keloids are not harmful nor a sign of cancer, but they can cause discomfort, low self-esteem, and, if left unchecked, may grow to huge sizes. CBD, a non-psychoactive component of hemp and cannabis plants has been clinically shown to reduce skin injury healing time, boost collagen levels, and according to anecdotal evidence, it can prevent and shrink regular scars and keloids naturally. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to keloids, below is what you need to know about CBD for scars. 

Quick take: Can CBD cure or prevent scarring?

  • Medical research says that CBD can hasten the skin healing process. 
  • CBD can cure skin problems that may cause scarring such as acne, eczema, and injury. 
  • CBD is not a cure for keloids, but it can prevent scar formation and growth, making it useful as a preventative measure. 
  • Apply CBD to wounds regularly if you are prone to keloids.
  • You may use CBD as complementary treatment for keloids. 


Can I use CBD for scars?

We all experience skin scarring at multiple points in our existence. It could be the consequence of acne, injury, disease, boils, skin infections, or other reasons. The majority of scars pose little to no risk to your health, but they can impact your confidence, can be itchy, sometimes painful, and eventually, scars may impact your mental health. 

Why do scars form, and how can CBD help prevent or cure them? 

Your body has an inflammatory response that triggers whenever you suffer injury or damage to the skin. Common causes of skin damage are acne, burns, cuts, and skin infections. If the wound or injury bleeds, your body releases white blood cells that help prevent infection, platelets form blood clots that stop the bleeding. 

The healing process may take days or months, depending on health and immunity. If you have an immune-deficiency illness, it may take longer. 

When a clot forms, the body generates collagen that helps secure the wound. 

In short, what you need to remember is:

  • Scarring is normal. 
  • After the healing process is complete, blood flow to the area decreases and the scar flattens or whitens. 
  • According to anecdotal evidence, CBD can help prevent scarring from escalating into keloids.

How can CBD help prevent scarring?

According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, topical application of pure CBD ointment is, quote, “a safe and effective non-invasive alternative for improving the quality of life in patients with some skin disorders, especially on the inflammatory background.”

Another study on the effects of CBD on acne concluded that CBD has the potential as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of acne. 

CBD and scarring: what we do know

According to clinical studies, topical application of CBD help improves skin elasticity and hydration in as little as three months. That is based on a study that entailed participants applying pure CBD ointment two to three times daily. 

How does CBD help prevent or improve scarring?

When CBD enters the body through oral consumption or topical application, the compound interacts with the user’s endocannabinoid system. Through that interaction, the chemical helps to regulate your body’s inflammatory response, keeping it from overreacting. 

The exact process of how the human endocannabinoid system works is still under investigation. What we do know is that the system serves the following major functions:

  • Inflammation control.
  • Immune response.
  • Appetite regulation
  • Sleep.
  • Pain management.
  • Learning and memory. 
  • Temperature control
  • Emotional processing. 

According to medical research, by enhancing the endocannabinoid system function, CBD can slow down scar formation, and it aids healing. Consequently, researchers believe that CBD may help prevent keloids and scarring. 

What to remember:

  • CBD has antifibrotic and anti-inflammatory properties. 
  • By relieving acne or treating skin conditions that trigger scarring, CBD can help prevent keloids and scars. 

What types of scars can CBD prevent or cure?

As mentioned, scars may arise for a variety of reasons. Knowing the triggers and how to care for the wound to prevent escalation is thus necessary.

Burn scars or contracture 

Occurs when heat damages the skin. Triggers could be the sun, radiation, electricity, and all other sources of heat. When exposed to heat, skin cells die, resulting in collagen production that helps the repair process. Depending on the damage done. The scar may go away on its own in a few months, or it could be permanent. 

Can I put CBD on a burn wound? 

Medical studies say that you should. Why?

  • Through CB2 receptors in the skin, CBD can help reduce inflammation and prevent pain. 
  • CBD weakens the cortisol section and decreases blood levels.
  • CBD has antibacterial properties. 

If left unchecked, burn wounds may escalate into keloids.

Pitted scars

If you are prone to breakouts, you may have multiple pitted scars triggered by acne or other skin conditions. Pitted scars, as the name suggests, appear sunken or pitted.

Surgery scars

Results from damage to the skin caused by cutting. Some may grow into keloids. 

What are keloids and can CBD help reduce or prevent them?

After you suffer an injury, your body’s healing process triggers. On some occasions -the wound may continue healing for longer than is necessary. Left unchecked, keloids may grow into huge scars. It could take months, weeks, or even years, and removal surgery may cause the recurrence of a larger scar. 

What are the symptoms of keloids, and how does CBD help?

  • Keloids may appear anywhere on the body. The scars are thick, shiny, lumpy, and irregularly shaped.
  • Keloids grow beyond the original scar. 
  • Itchiness, and discomfort are common. 
  • May cause stress, anxiety, and depression in some. 

Is CBD a cure for keloids?

CBD will not cure keloids, but it can prevent them from forming or growing, and you may use it to manage pain, discomfort, and itchiness caused by keloids. Consequently, CBD is a complementary treatment for keloids. Meaning, you should combine the regular topical application with treatment. 

There are several treatments for keloid scars that you should combine with CBD treatment. 

Depending on the size of the scar, a physician may recommend:

  • Cryotherapy. Involves freezing keloid scars with liquid nitrogen. The treatment has side effects, including pain, itchiness, and blistering, that CBD can help manage. To prevent reoccurrence, it is recommended that you massage CBD oil into the area regularly.
  • Cortisone or steroid injections. Injecting medicine directly into the scar is painful and can trigger headaches if the scar is on the head area. CBD can help manage pain, prevent infection, and hasten the healing process.
  • Compression treatment. As the name suggests, compression treatment entails putting pressure on the scar. Treatment could take days, months, or weeks and it is uncomfortable. CBD can help in pain and discomfort management
  • Laser treatment. Pulse dye laser treatment is painful and may require multiple sessions spread out -over weeks or months. CBD’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties can help aid this type of treatment.
  • Surgical removal. When surgically removed, there is a 50% possibility that a keloid may reoccur, sometimes bigger than the original scar. Massaging CBD oil into the scar can keep it from growing, and it will improve elasticity and make the scar less pronounced. From personal experience, the scar should shrink within six months. 

How to use CBD to heal scars

There are limited studies on the effects of CBD on scars. The research that exists tells us that CBD is safe for the skin, has anti-inflammatory properties, and aids the healing process. There is also evidence that the application or consumption of CBD can help boost collagen levels, stimulates cellular turnover, and enhances cell regeneration.

The gist of it is:

  • CBD can help cure skin conditions that cause scars. 
  • Regular application of CBD can prevent the growth of scars. If you have old scars or keloids, massage CBD oil or ointment once or twice daily for at least 6 months.

What skin conditions can CBD help heal or prevent?

  • Burn wounds. Combined with treatment, CBD can prevent itching, scar growth, and pain. 
  • Psoriasis
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Acne. 

How to use CBD to prevent scarring

First, it is important to understand the nature of the scar. Keloids may appear sporadically or it could “run in the family”. Consequently, if there are members in the family that have keloids, you could be at a higher risk of developing keloids. 

What you need to remember is that there are several measures that you may take to prevent scarring. Medical experts recommend:

  • Clean the wound and keep it covered. If you suffer injury or develop a wound, clean the area with antibacterial products, remove debris to prevent bacterial buildup, apply CBD oil, then cover the wound. Repeat the process until the wound heals. If you are at risk of developing keloids, massage CBD oil into the scar for several weeks. 
  • Fight the temptation. Scars cause itching, and it can be a challenge not to pick at them. But you must. The reason being -scratching may cause infection, and it may worsen the scar. Apply CBD to help prevent itching and hasten the healing process. 
  • Seek medical care if the cut is deep or if it does not stop bleeding.
  • Protect yourself from bugs and apply CBD to insect bites to prevent scarring. 

Remember, if a wound is accompanied by pain and fever, it could be a sign of infection. Consequently, seek medical care immediately.