Dermatological effects of Curcuma species: a systematic review

Clin Exp Dermatol. 2021 Jul;46(5):825-833. doi: 10.1111/ced.14584. Epub 2021 Mar 15.


Curcuma and its derivatives are associated with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities in the skin. They exhibit beneficial effects in wound healing and prevention of chronic ultraviolet B damage and may prevent facial redness such as rosacea and flushing. This review aims to provide an up-to-date and rigorous synthesis of studies that demonstrated the clinical efficacy of curcuminoids in the skin. We evaluated studies published in the MEDLINE-PubMed/PMC (National Library of Medicine) databases, and followed Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines for this review. This search included papers published in the past 10 years in controlled clinical trials, double-blind and randomized controlled studies, and case studies. The search resulted in 12 studies published in the past 10 years. Curcuma species (Curcuma longa and Curcuma aeruginosa) and curcumin were found to produce various dermatological effects, including influencing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory processes in the production of hyaluronan, increasing skin moisture, and reducing axillary hair growth. Curcuma was also found to reduce thickness, erythema, pruritus, burning and pain in psoriasis lesions and to improve radiodermatitis lesions. Our review results show that Curcuma species may play a role in skin health management and may exhibit various dermatological effects, thus it could be a new therapeutic arsenal for dermatology professionals. Nevertheless, more clinical trials should be conducted with humans to establish the optimum delivery method and dosages for different dermatological conditions.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Curcuma / adverse effects
  • Curcuma / chemistry*
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / metabolism
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy
  • Radiodermatitis / drug therapy
  • Radiodermatitis / prevention & control
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Rosacea / prevention & control
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing / drug effects


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • turmeric extract
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Curcumin