Skin covers up our body and is part of the organ system that protects us from various kinds of damage, loss of fluid or abrasion from outside. This system is scientifically known as Integumentary system. Our skin other functions include sustenance of body temperature, vitamin D synthesis and sensory information for surrounding environment provider (1). Nevertheless, human skin protective features are constantly expose to damages from the UV rays, microbes and pollutants, making it susceptible to infections, diseases, and injuries.

In this article we will discuss the 3 most common skin disorders. One of the most diagnosed is none other than skin cancer, particularly in the United States. Skin cancer might be the resultant of over exposure to the sun and man made tanning apparatus. Another skin disorder is psoriasis; flaky scales skin disorder on the knees, elbows, and scalp. The other is Acne, a skin disease widely experienced by teenagers. Acne occurs predominantly in microscopic glands in the skin that have been colonized by bacteria, some of which blossom in the lipid-rich sebum (1).

Studies on Curcumin for Treating Skin Disorder

Curcumin, the active ingredient extracted from Turmeric (kunyit) is known for its high antioxidant and potent anti-inflammatory contents which are essential in the prevention and treatment of various diseases. This spice has been widely used in Ayurvedic medicinal practice for thousand of years; well-known for its ability to cure various ailments including skin diseases. Recent studies have revealed that curcumin has the potential to treat skin cancer based on in-vitro and in-vivo research (2). In addition, curcumin has also shown to act against dermatitis (3), while a clinical study showed that curcumin has the potential for palliative therapy for cancerous skin lesions (4).

Another clinical study proved that curcumin gel has beneficial effect on psoriasis (5). Researchers found Curcumin inhibit the keratinocyte proliferation thus suggesting its potential in suppressing psoriasis (6). In another study, turmeric anti-inflammatory activity suppressed the capacity of Propionibacterium acnes– induced reactive oxygen species and pro-inflammatory cytokines, the two important inflammatory mediators in acne pathogenesis (7).

Assortment of Researches on Curcumin for Treating Skin Disorder

The assortment of researches on curcumin which have revealed its therapeutic and medicinal benefits is a good motivation for us to start relying on natural herbal remedies to prevent and treat our ailments, with little or no side effects.



1. Tortora, G.J., Derrickson, B.H. (2009). Principles of anatomy and physiology. Volume 1. 12th Edition.John Wiley and Sons Pte.Ltd.
2. Anand, P. et al. (2008). Curcumin and cancer: an ‘old-age’ disease with an ‘age-old’ solution. Cancer Letters. 267:133-164
3. Ishizaki, C. et al (1996). Enhancing effect of ultraviolet A on ornithine decarboxylase induction and dermatitis evoked by 12-o-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate and its inhibition by curcumin in mouse skin. Dermatology. 193:311-317
4. Kuttan, R., Sudheeran, P.C., Josph, C.D. (1987). Turmeric and curcumin as topical agents in cancer therapy.Tumori. 73:29-31
5. Heng, M.C., Song, M.K., Harker, J., and Heng, M.K. (2000). Drug-induced suppression of phosphorylase kinase activity correlates with resolution of psoriasis as assessed by clinical, histological and immunohistochemical parameters. Br. J. Dermatol. 143:937-949
6. Pol, A., Bergers, M. and Schalkwijk, J. (2003). Comparison of antiproliferative effects of experimental and established antipsoriatic drugs on human keratinocytes, using a simple 96-well-plate assay. In vitro Cell Dev. Biol. Anim. 39:36-42
7. Jain, A. and Basal, E. (2003). Inhibition of Propionibacterium acnes-induced mediators of inflammation by Indian herbs.Phytomedicine 10: 34–38
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