Turmeric: benefits for the skin


The turmeric spice, also known as the golden spice, comes from the turmeric plant. In the East, it has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. Widely used in Ayurveda, the Indian practice of holistic medicine, turmeric is also used in cooking and in religious ceremonies.

This spice can be an inexpensive, well-tolerated, and effective treatment for skin conditions including acne , psoriasis , atopic dermatitis , and skin infections.

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What is turmeric?

Grown in South and Southeast Asia, primarily India, turmeric is a flowering plant in the ginger family. The spice is obtained from an underground stem or rhizome and is used for culinary and medicinal purposes.

Turmeric is a source of curcumin, a polyphenol that targets many signaling molecules (molecules that transmit information between cells). Curcumin has been traditionally used in Asian countries as a herbal remedy. It has health benefits for inflammatory diseases, metabolic syndromes, pain, and degenerative eye diseases. These benefits are the result of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Benefits for the skin

Several studies have shown that turmeric and curcumin can provide health benefits in certain skin conditions. However, the evidence supporting the effectiveness of turmeric in treating these conditions is not very strong.


Curcumin is a potential alternative treatment for acne , a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. It is most common in teens and young adults, but it can be affected at any age. Studies of acne in rats have shown better antibacterial activity after treatment with a gel containing curcumin and lauric acid.

Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis usually begins in early childhood and usually resolves during adolescence. However, some people may experience this later in adulthood. Symptoms include dry, itchy skin and red rashes that can appear on the scalp, face, hands, and feet.

In Asian countries, the use of curcumin to treat eczema is a common practice. Curcumin reduces the activity of T cells (T cells are white blood cells in the immune system). A study using a herbal cream containing curcumin found that it relieved many of the symptoms of eczema. However, in the non-comparative study, there was no control group, there was a high dropout rate, and it was difficult to discern the effects of turmeric and other ingredients in the cream. While the results of this study are encouraging, more clinical trials are needed to determine the effectiveness of turmeric in treating atopic dermatitis.

Scalp diseases

In a study that examined the effects of turmeric on a skin condition, scalp psoriasis, 40 patients were divided into two groups. One group received the turmeric tonic twice a week for nine weeks, and the other group received a placebo. By the end of the trial, the people using the turmeric tonic had improved symptoms and quality of life.

Circles under the eyes

In addition to helping with skin conditions like acne, women in India use turmeric as a brightening agent, especially under the eyes. Curcumin gel has also been reported to improve the appearance of pigmentation changes due to photodamaged skin conditions (caused by sun exposure).


Scabies is an infection with a microscopic human itch mite that hides under the top layer of the skin. Symptoms include a rash and severe itching. The two most commonly used treatments for scabies are permethrin cream and oral ivermectin. However, essential oils with antimicrobial properties have also been used. Tea tree oil, clove oil, neem oil (from an evergreen tree native to India), and turmeric reduce the survival rate of ticks, unlike permethrin and ivermectin.


Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disorder that causes scaly patches of skin that can itch. In an animal study, a gel formulation containing 1% curcumin reduced psoriasis -like inflammation. Other studies have also pointed to curcumin's benefits, including in preventing psoriasis. For example, in mouse studies, curcumin slowed the activation of potassium channels in T cells, which play a role in the onset of psoriasis.

According to some studies, curcumin helps heal wounds by decreasing the body's natural responses to skin wounds, such as inflammation and oxidation. Topical application of curcumin promotes granulation (scarring at the edges), new tissue formation, collagen deposition (increases wound strength), tissue remodeling (restores tissue characteristics), and reduction of wound (reduces the size of the wound).

How to use it

Turmeric comes in many forms, including an essential oil that can be added to creams, gels, skin masks, and shampoos, along with other natural ingredients like coconut oil and flower essences. It can be made into a paste and applied to wounds, and it can also be used in teas (turmeric is a common ingredient in teas) and supplements to improve certain conditions, from joint pain to indigestion. However, many are homeopathic (alternative) products that have not yet been reviewed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

There are a number of topical pain relief (pain relief) creams that contain turmeric and other ingredients like menthol, camphor, and methyl salicylate. They can be purchased without a prescription, but may not be reviewed or approved by the FDA.

Turmeric root powder extract, along with other herbal ingredients, is also included in nutritional supplements in capsule form. Before you decide to use any dietary supplement or take any medication prescribed by you, ask your healthcare professional or pharmacist if there are any contraindications that make taking a supplement inappropriate.


In general, curcumin has few side effects and is considered safe by the FDA. However, multiple symptoms were reported in one trial to ensure curcumin is safe and has health benefits. Seven people received doses of 500 to 12,000 mg (milligrams) who developed diarrhea, headaches, skin rashes and yellow stools after 72 hours. In another study, some participants received 0.45 to 3.6 grams of curcumin per day for one to four months. They reported nausea, diarrhea, and elevated levels of serum alkaline phosphatase (which can indicate liver or bone damage) and lactate dehydrogenase (which can lead to tissue damage at high levels).

Last but not least, if you use a turmeric paste, it will stain your skin and clothes.

Turmeric is used to alleviate a number of skin conditions, including atopic dermatitis. However, some people are allergic to turmeric. If you are allergic to turmeric, do not use supplements or topical medications that contain this ingredient.

Get the word of drug information

Turmeric is used to treat a wide variety of conditions, such as acne and other painful skin problems. Studies with limited parameters, such as small groups of participants and short trial periods, show that turmeric helps in the treatment of these conditions.

But before experimenting with turmeric on your own, check with your doctor or dermatologist to make sure you are not allergic to the substance, are using safe amounts, and are not taking anything that could interact with turmeric.

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