Evidence of curcumin and curcumin analogue effects in skin diseases: A narrative review

J Cell Physiol. 2019 Feb;234(2):1165-1178. doi: 10.1002/jcp.27096. Epub 2018 Aug 2.


Curcumin, a natural polyphenolic and yellow pigment obtained from the spice turmeric, has strong antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Due to these properties, curcumin has been used as a remedy for the prevention and treatment of skin aging and disorders such as psoriasis, infection, acne, skin inflammation, and skin cancer. Curcumin has protective effects against skin damage caused by chronic ultraviolet B radiation. One of the challenges in maximizing the therapeutic potential of curcumin is its low bioavailability, limited aqueous solubility, and chemical instability. In this regard, the present review is focused on recent studies concerning the use of curcumin for the treatment of skin diseases, as well as offering new and efficient strategies to optimize its pharmacokinetic profile and increase its bioavailability.

Keywords: curcumin; dermatology; inflammation; skin; topical use.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Availability
  • Curcumin / adverse effects
  • Curcumin / analogs & derivatives
  • Curcumin / pharmacokinetics
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Dermatologic Agents / adverse effects
  • Dermatologic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Skin Diseases / metabolism
  • Skin Diseases / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Curcumin