Objective: To determine the efficacy of topical curcumin in reducing breast inflammation in women suffering from lactational mastitis.
Methods: A randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study including 63 breastfeeding women with lactational mastitis were randomly assigned to receive curcumin topical cream, one pump every 8 hours for 3 days (n=32) or topical moisturizer as placebo (n=31). Using an index for severity of breast inflammation, all of the patients had moderate breast inflammation before entering the study. The outcome of treatment was evaluated using the same index at 24, 48 and 72 hours of starting the treatment.
Results: There was no significant difference between two study groups regarding the baseline characteristics such as age (p=0.361) and duration of lactation (p=0.551). After 72-hour of therapy, patients in curcumin groups had significantly lower rate of moderate (p=0.019) and mild (p=0.002) mastitis. Patients in curcumin group had significantly lower scores for tension (p<0.001), erythema (p<0.001) and pain (p<0.001), after 72-hour of treatment.
Conclusion: The results of the current study indicate that topical preparation of curcumin successfully decrease the markers of lactational mastitis such as pain, breast tension and erythema within 72 hours of administration without side effects. Thus, topical preparation of curcumin could be safely administered for those suffering from lactational mastitis after excluding infectious etiologies.
Keywords: Curcumin; Lactational Mastitis; Puerperal Mastitis; Turmeric.