Curcumin, an active constituent of the spice turmeric, is well known for its chemopreventive properties and is found to be beneficial in treating various disorders including skin diseases. Curcumin protects skin by quenching free radicals and reducing inflammation through the inhibition of nuclear factor-kappa B. Curcumin also affects other signaling pathways including transforming growth factor-β and mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. Curcumin also modulates the phase II detoxification enzymes which are crucial in detoxification reactions and for protection against oxidative stress. In the present review, the biological mechanisms of the chemopreventive potential of curcumin in various skin diseases like psoriasis, vitiligo, and melanoma is discussed. The application of curcumin in skin regeneration and wound healing is also elucidated. We also explored the recent innovations and advances involved in the development of transdermal delivery systems to enhance the bioavailability of curcumin, particularly in the skin. Recent clinical trials pertaining to the use of curcumin in skin diseases establishes its benefits and also the need for additional clinical trials in other diseases are discussed.
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