Potential of Curcumin in Skin Disorders

Nutrients. 2019 Sep 10;11(9):2169. doi: 10.3390/nu11092169.


Curcumin is a compound isolated from turmeric, a plant known for its medicinal use. Recently, there is a growing interest in the medical community in identifying novel, low-cost, safe molecules that may be used in the treatment of inflammatory and neoplastic diseases. An increasing amount of evidence suggests that curcumin may represent an effective agent in the treatment of several skin conditions. We examined the most relevant in vitro and in vivo studies published to date regarding the use of curcumin in inflammatory, neoplastic, and infectious skin diseases, providing information on its bioavailability and safety profile. Moreover, we performed a computational analysis about curcumin's interaction towards the major enzymatic targets identified in the literature. Our results suggest that curcumin may represent a low-cost, well-tolerated, effective agent in the treatment of skin diseases. However, bypass of limitations of its in vivo use (low oral bioavailability, metabolism) is essential in order to conduct larger clinical trials that could confirm these observations. The possible use of curcumin in combination with traditional drugs and the formulations of novel delivery systems represent a very promising field for future applicative research.

Keywords: antioxidants; atopic dermatitis; curcumin; iatrogenic dermatitis; inflammaging; inflammatory skin diseases; molecular docking; psoriasis; skin aging; skin cancer; skin infections; wound care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Curcumin / adverse effects
  • 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