Turmeric is an integral part of our beauty, skincare regimen and several medicinal therapies since many epochs. Everyone is obsessed with the incredible health benefits of this good old herb. What makes Turmeric so special? It is the presence of the most incredible compound Curcumin which attributes a variety of health benefits to this spice.

The highly valued tradition of Ayurveda has signified this golden herb for its cosmetic benefits, repairing and rejuvenating action on the skin. This good old science has several instances of turmeric being used to treat several skin conditions like acne, rashes, pruritus, and different inflammatory conditions including the poisonous insect bites.

Let us review the beneficial effects of curcumin in different skin health conditions.

Skin, the front-line defense

Skin is the first line of defense that protects our body from the harmful effects of light, heat, radiations, chemical irritants, microbial infections, etc. Constant exposure to variable conditions makes it vulnerable to several adversities like infections, injuries, burns, rashes, pruritus, and diseases like psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and cancers. Diseases of the skin are common and considerably impacts the quality of life in people. There are dozens of skin conditions that are quite similar in appearance. Some are acute and easily manageable. While some others, despite the effective therapies may not respond and makes the life of a person miserable. Curcumin, a molecule with multiple health benefits has tremendously good results in different skin ailments and is relatively a less expensive and safer alternative for many current therapeutics on skin.

How curcumin is effective in skin health?

  • Curcumin, being an effective antioxidant with high ORAC value protects the skin by quenching the free radicles that pose a major threat not only to the skin but also other principal organs in the body.
  • Most of the skin manifestations are the result of the inflammatory response of the body to various allergens or pathogens. Curcumin inhibits these proinflammatory cytokines and helps to reduce the symptoms.
  • Antimicrobial property of curcumin is highly beneficial as it inhibits the growth of bacteria or fungi responsible for the infection. This explains the tradition of using turmeric in many Ayurvedic cosmetic preparations.
  • The wound healing property of curcumin plays a significant role in the repair and regeneration of new tissue and hastens the stages of wound healing.
  • Immunomodulatory property of curcumin also plays a major role in allergic and autoimmune skin conditions like Atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and skin cancer.

Effect of curcumin in various skin disorders

Curcumin, a natural wound healer

Wound healing is a complex process involving different stages like

  • Inflammation
  • Formation of granulation tissue
  • Formation of the new epithelium, and wound contraction.

Curcumin hastens these stages of wound healing and plays a significant role in wound repair. Also, it reduces the inflammation and oxidative stress which delays the wound healing process.
Research studies on curcumin are suggestive of its effectiveness in Diabetic wounds as well.

Curcumin, in the treatment of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease with the involvement of multiple systems and multiple contributing factors presenting in the form of red, itchy, and scaly skin anywhere in the body.

Curcumin being a powerful anti-inflammatory molecule reduces several inflammatory cytokines and enzymes and alleviates the symptoms to a great extent.

Immune modulation by curcumin regulates various components of the immune system that are involved in the disease mechanism.

Curcumin in the treatment of skin infections

Skin, the largest organ, and front-line defense of the body is vulnerable to several microbial infections. These cutaneous infections are caused by different bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites and manifest in the form of boils, cellulitis, folliculitis, and impetigo. These days the treatment of these infections had become challenging to the physicians owing to the multi-drug resistance developed by these microbes. In this situation, curcumin along with other therapies can be an effective solution for treating various skin infections.

Curcumin delays skin ageing

Aging of the skin is related to the exposure to several environmental factors like solar radiation, pollutants, lifestyle modifications and several habits which involve alcohol intake, smoking, inadequate diet, and presence of illnesses like obesity, Diabetes mellitus may considerably hasten the process of aging.
Curcumin is found to have a beneficial role in delaying aging. It prevents the premature aging of the skin by fetching the free radicles and reducing inflammation. Curcumin also protects the skin from harmful UV radiation damage and prevents the occurrence of skin cancers.

Curcumin for other skin problems

Curcumin taken orally and applied topically has highly beneficial effects in several skin conditions like acne, eczema, atopic dermatitis, iatrogenic dermatitis (Drug induced dermatitis), psoriasis, diabetic wounds, infections, photo damage, vitiligo, and skin cancers. Research studies with curcumin has shown a promising result in curcumin treated groups in many of these skin ailments.

As quoted,

“Healthy skin is the reflection of overall wellness”

Dr Howard Murad

It needs to be handled with utmost care and affection. When the market is overloaded with skincare products and treatment strategies, many of them may cause undesired events. Hence an effective, natural, and safe solution may be relief amidst these overwhelming therapeutic solutions.

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6770633/.
2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0024320514007036
3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326830448