A systematic review of lactoferrin use in dermatology

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017 Nov 22;57(17):3632-3639. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2015.1137859.


Lactoferrin is a glycoprotein widely present in mammalian secretions and possesses documented protective effects, including antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. While its therapeutic use is being investigated for a myriad of diseases, there is increasing interest in its application for skin disease. Our objective was to systematically review the clinical evidence for the use and efficacy of lactoferrin for the treatment of dermatological conditions. Pubmed and Embase databases were searched for clinical studies evaluating lactoferrin for dermatological conditions. A total of six studies were reviewed. Of the current clinical trials, there is encouraging evidence to suggest that lactoferrin may be beneficial in acne, psoriasis, and diabetic ulcerations. Although the current evidence is promising, further research is necessary to establish lactoferrin as complementary therapy in the clinical setting.

Keywords: Alternative; acne; milk; psoriasis; skin; ulcer.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Dermatology
  • Humans
  • Lactoferrin / therapeutic use*
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*


  • Lactoferrin