Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin. Research has found this to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may benefit eczema. However, further research is required to determine the efficacy.
There is currently insufficient research available on the effectiveness of turmeric as a treatment for eczema. However, current evidence suggests turmeric has potential as a treatment for certain skin conditions.
This article examines the beneficial properties of turmeric for eczema, examples of turmeric products, potential side effects, and drug interactions. It also discusses alternative treatments and other uses for turmeric.
Early evidence suggests oral and topical turmeric supplements and products may benefit skin health. However, they noted that more studies are necessary to determine the mechanism of action, efficacy, and dosages.
The research also found that turmeric acid can inhibit T-cell activation, which plays a part in eczema.
In animal studies, oral administration of this phytocomponent p-hydroxycinnamic acid (HCA), an acid in curcumin, showed a decrease in proinflammatory markers found in eczema, as well as decreased inflammation and thickening of the skin.
Researchers are conducting several studies to explore the use of turmeric in other inflammatory skin disorders.
However, current studies are small or biased, not double-blinded. There are also limitations in the oral bioavailability of turmeric — how much a person absorbs it, how effective it is, and the metabolism of it as a compound.
Experts need to perform further research using turmeric that is bioavailable and compare it to a placebo. This will allow them to determine the actual benefits of turmeric in eczema and its effectiveness in decreasing inflammation.
People can use turmeric for eczema in the following ways:
Examples of products include:
A popular way to consume turmeric is in golden milk or turmeric milk. The drink contains nondairy milk, turmeric, and other spices.
People can buy golden milk from health food stores or make their own at home.
The following ingredients are for 1 serving of golden milk:
- ½ cup nondairy milk, such as almond or coconut milk
- 2 inches (in) of sliced fresh turmeric root
- 1 in sliced fresh ginger root
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- pinch black pepper
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
A person makes golden milk by:
- combining the ingredients in a pot
- bringing ingredients to a gentle simmer
- straining before serving
Turmeric supplements are available at health stores, pharmacies, and online. They come in various forms, including:
- fluid extracts
The maximum recommended dosage varies between a daily intake of
A person can apply topical preparations directly to the affected areas of the skin for eczema treatment.
Topical turmeric products are available in various forms, including:
Turmeric is unlikely to cause negative side effects on the skin. They may cause temporary staining of the skin but is not harmful.
However, some people showed allergic
Overall, turmeric has not shown many side effects unless consumed in very high doses or concentrations.
- promoting lung cancer in mice
- affecting fertility and inhibiting the movement of sperm
- causing digestive disorders, such as:
Doctors do not
A person should speak with their doctor or dermatologist before using turmeric as an alternative or complementary therapy for eczema or any condition.
If someone experiences an allergic skin reaction from the spice, they should consult a medical professional.
Turmeric may interact with certain medications, which a person should discuss with their doctor if they plan to use turmeric regularly as a treatment.
Some drugs may be more effective when taken with turmeric than alone. These include:
- anticoagulants, such as :
- chemotherapy drugs
A doctor should monitor any person taking the above drugs for any effects.
- Blood thinning medication: Although turmeric increases the effects of anticoagulants, this can increase the risk of:
- Insulin: Turmeric can lower blood sugar levels, which can therefore cause an even lower blood sugar in people on insulin or other antidiabetic medication.
- Blood pressure medication: Turmeric can enhance the effects of antihypertensive drugs, lowering blood pressure.
- Antacids: Turmeric can inhibit the effectiveness of antacids, such as:
- famotidine (Pepcid)
- cimetidine (Tagamet)
Doctors also do not prescribe turmeric to people with gallbladder issues. This is due to the possible risk of turmeric stimulating gallbladder contractions that may cause gallstones.
Alternative natural treatments for eczema include:
- Coconut oil: This oil is antibacterial and can reduce the risk of infection.
- Sunflower oil: This contains fatty acids, which can help maintain the skin’s protective barrier and prevent water from leaking out of the skin. Additional research has corroborated that sunflower oil decreases water loss but is limited as it was a small sample size. This oil also has antibacterial properties for the skin.
- Colloidal oatmeal bath: According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), this bath additive can help relieve eczema symptoms.
- Diluted apple cider vinegar: This method may help alleviate some symptoms of eczema, although more research is necessary to confirm its efficacy. Due to the high acidic content, it could potentially injure the soft tissues of the:
- Aloe vera: Extracts from the aloe vera plant can help soothe dry skin and aid wound healing. Aloe vera is also antibacterial, which could help treat infections.
Topical vitamin E
Vitamin E has nutrient antioxidant properties, which may help reduce eczema symptoms in the short term.
A 2015 study compared the result of people’s mild to moderate eczema on 400 international units (10 micrograms) of vitamin E or placebo for 4 months. Treatment showed improvements in:
However, researchers did not observe this effect 3 months after ending treatment.
There are no side effects reported in the study from the topical use of vitamin E, but there are some reports of people experiencing:
- contact dermatitis
People should speak with a dermatologist to explore possible alternative treatments and their benefits and risks.
Turmeric has other potential users, and it
- inflammatory conditions
- metabolic syndrome
- exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness
Although more research is necessary to confirm the efficacy and safety of turmeric as a treatment for eczema, current evidence suggests that it has potential as a treatment for skin diseases.
The antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of curcumin — a turmeric compound — may help treat eczema symptoms.
Researchers are undertaking studies to find out which type of turmeric compound has increased bioavailability and absorption.
A person can ingest turmeric as a spice in foods or drinks, as an oral supplement, or apply it topically.
The FDA classifies turmeric as safe. However, the spice may interact with certain medications, which can increase the risk of complications in some cases. People should inform a doctor of any medications they are taking before using turmeric as a supplement.