Turmeric (Curcuma longa), a commonly used spice throughout the world, has been shown to exhibit antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-neoplastic properties. Growing evidence shows that an active component of turmeric, curcumin, may be used medically to treat a variety of dermatologic diseases. This systematic review was conducted to examine the evidence for the use of both topical and ingested turmeric/curcumin to modulate skin health and function. The PubMed and Embase databases were systematically searched for clinical studies involving humans that examined the relationship between products containing turmeric, curcumin, and skin health. A total of 234 articles were uncovered, and a total of 18 studies met inclusion criteria. Nine studies evaluated the effects of ingestion, eight studies evaluated the effects of topical, and one study evaluated the effects of both ingested and topical application of turmeric/curcumin. Skin conditions examined include acne, alopecia, atopic dermatitis, facial photoaging, oral lichen planus, pruritus, psoriasis, radiodermatitis, and vitiligo. Ten studies noted statistically significant improvement in skin disease severity in the turmeric/curcumin treatment groups compared with control groups. Overall, there is early evidence that turmeric/curcumin products and supplements, both oral and topical, may provide therapeutic benefits for skin health. However, currently published studies are limited and further studies will be essential to better evaluate efficacy and the mechanisms involved.
- atopic dermatitis
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