6 Benefits of Curcumin in Psoriasis (Science Backed)

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease which is accompanied by abnormal patches on a person’s skin. These patches will appear dry, scaly and itchy.

The disease is generally treated through the use of light therapy, ointments, and other medication. However, new age therapeutics including natural products like curcumin are being used to relive its symptoms of late.

Curcumin, with its multi-targeting system and natural origin, possesses ideal properties to heal the sore and scaly skin condition.

Several studies have been conducted to assess the safety and efficacy of curcumin based formulations on psoriasis. The results of such endeavours have proven to be fruitful, prompting for further investigations for its application.

What is curcumin?

Curcumin is a naturally yellow compound which is an essential component of the spice, turmeric. It has been used throughout history as it is believed to display excellent healing properties.

Scientists have recently gained interest in its use as a pharmacological agent as it regulates cell signals and aids several disease conditions.

Most notably, it is a highly potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.

Benefits of curcumin in Psoriasis treatment

Curcumin can prove to be helpful in Psoriasis because it reduces inflammation and monitors cellular interactions to relieve the markers of the disease. Curcumin strengthens skin cell defences and blocks harmful agents. Curcumin and delphinidin may prevent genetic interactions leading to psoriasis. It enhances the effects of phototherapy on plaque psoriasis thus making it a useful therapeutic supplement.

Curcumin has a unique multi-targeting system that helps it monitor many different types of cellular activities. The nutrients present in it have the ability to control the rate of cell division and fix cell damage.

This may be the reason it has become a popular compound for disease treatment.

Benefits of curcumin in Psoriasis

Some of the benefits it offers regarding relieving symptoms of psoriasis is listed as follows:

1. Curcumin reduces inflammation in psoriasis

Inflammation occurs when the body attempts to heal its damaged cells. It is one of the chief contributors to redness and swelling of the skin in case of psoriasis. The anti-inflammatory action of curcumin is useful in such conditions.

Researchers have conducted extensive animal model-based studies on curcumin to conclude its highly potent anti-inflammatory effects.

The evidence of such abilities was provided through the Biochemie study which showed that curcumin blocked the effects of several pro-inflammatory markers by 50%.

The key markers it blocked were the interleukin- 1 beta and IL-6 as was seen in an inflammation closely resembling that of psoriasis.

Gupta SC et al. also identified that curcumin halted pathways controlled by the inflammation mediator, human tumour necrosis factor (TNF). This enables the polyphenol highly useful for healing a multitude of signs of inflammation.

The anti-inflammatory action of curcumin though well-known is not completely understood. The 2015 International Immunopharmacology study looked to investigate this.

The chemical TPA, even in small doses elicits an acute inflammatory reaction. The potency of curcumin against this agent was evaluated using an animal model.

In addition to regulating levels of inflammation drivers like interleukins and tumour necrosis factor, the compound increased the expression of mRNA levels of IFN-gamma. The reduction in inflammation was quite significant.

What does this mean?
Curcumin is useful for psoriasis treatment as it modulates cell activities and does not allow inflammatory markers to express themselves.

2. Curcuminoid nanoparticles benefit in psoriasis

The disease occurs when interactions between immune cells of the skin and keratinous proteins in the epidermis take place. This leads to scaly and red patches on the skin.

An experiment carried out using a nanoformulation of curcumin in an animal model yielded positive results.

This substance could regulate interactions on a genetic level, i.e., it modulated protein and mRNA reactions and could drive away signs of the disease.

What does this mean?
Specialised formulations of curcumin bear great potential for psoriasis treatment. They monitor cellular interactions to relieve the markers of the disease.

3. Curcumin works well with immunosuppressive agents

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder. Bearing in the immunosuppressive nature of tacrolimus (a medication commonly used to reduce the intensity of immune reaction in the body) and the anti-psoriasis abilities of curcumin, Jain A et al.combined the two into a liposomal gel and studied its efficiency to treat the disease.

The study showed that the formulation could successfully lower the observable symptoms of the diseases and block markers of inflammation as well. These findings were verified through extensive molecular and tissue studies.

What does this mean?
When used with the immunosuppressive agent, tacrolimus, curcumin acts in synergy with the compound and reduces theintensity of inflammation and damage to skin.

4. Curcumin is awesome for skin health

It has often been seen that use of curcumin is accompanied by healthy skin. This is due to the multitude of benefits it offers. It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and an antioxidant.

It prevents infection by microbes and prevents neoplastic growths (abnormal tissue growth). It’s not a surprise that scientists refer to the compound as ‘Indian solid gold’.

It offers these benefits through ingestion as well as topical application. It has been seen to be useful in treating many skin disorders as it protects the cells and accelerates healing in case of wounds.

It is safe for use even at high doses. These properties enable it useful for psoriasis treatment as well.

What does this mean?
Curcumin strengthens skin cell defences and blocks harmful agents from entering them and transforming their properties. This shielding activity makes it useful for treating psoriasis.

5. Curcumin can regulate psoriasis development on a genetic level

The primary genetic cause of psoriasis is the deletion of the LCE3B and LCE3C genes. These genes are responsible for structural protein regulation. When not monitored, this leads to undifferentiated keratin cells.

An article published in the Archives of dermatological research in 2013 tested what benefits could be achieved through the use of curcumin and another plant derivative, delphinidin (an antioxidant plant pigment which imparts blue colours to viola and delphinium flowers) to correct this genetic defect.

They could upregulate the expression of the LCE genes. This resulted in higher levels of the required proteins and thus avoided the occurrence of the diseases.

What does this mean?
Through upregulation of LCE genes and protein levels, curcumin and delphinidin can prevent genetic interactions leading to psoriasis.

6. Curcumin can enhance the effects of phototherapy

As previously mentioned, light therapy is often used to heal psoriatic lesions. Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease. It is coupled with red an inflamed skin.

In phase 4 clinical trial, patients suffering from plaque psoriasis were administered curcumin along with phototherapy. Positive effects were seen in a majority of the 21 treated candidates.

Approximately 80% showed a decrease in skin lesions and all moderate and severe plaques were eliminated via the treatment. Also, there were no harmful side effects reported from the trial.

What does this mean?
As seen from a phase 4 clinical trial, curcumin enhances the effects of phototherapy on plaque psoriasis thus making it a useful therapeutic supplement.

7. Curcumin-based targeted therapeutics have a bright future in psoriasis treatment

Despite its excellent healing and protective properties, a common roadblock to the application of curcumin as a pharmacological agent is its low bioavailability.

Targeted therapeutics offer a solution to overcoming this hurdle as they deliver the compound in a site-specific manner.

In 2015, Esposito E and colleagues created four curcumin containing Nano lipid dispersions (NLD 1, 2, 3 and 4). A series of tests showed that these structures could inhibit cell proliferation and migration. This phenomenon shows potential for treatment of hyperproliferative diseases such as psoriasis.

What does this mean?
Scientists across the world are attempting to create curcumin based novel therapeutics to heal hyperproliferation. This indicates a positive prospects for psoriasis therapy.

Curcumin Dosage

A specific dosage of curcumin has not been prescribed for psoriasis treatment.

Most research studies utilise a dose of 500-1000 mg of curcumin per day. It is best to consult a doctor for the appropriate dosage and formulation of curcumin.

The most commonly used curcumin supplements are standardized 95% curcumin extract with bioperine. Curcumin requires piperine or fats for absorption. (Read: How to Improve Bioavailability of curcumin?)

However, you can go through other curcumin supplement formulations here that aid in increasing bioavailability of curcumin. (Read: Best Curcumin Supplement Brands Today)

Always start with a low dosage and increase gradually over weeks. Curcumin supplements are best taken after meals and avoid taking them at the same time as any other medication. Maintain a 3-4 hour gap.


Turmeric in diet is safe and most studies have demonstrated that curcumin, even at high dosages, is safe. However a few precautions must be noted

Read : Possible Side effects & Precautions with Curcumin

Rule out any allergies with turmeric and curcumin.

Avoid taking curcumin supplements on an empty stomach as they may trigger acid reflux in susceptible individuals.

Gastric discomfort is possible with the sudden introduction of curcumin, especially at high doses. Start with small dosages and increase gradually over weeks to recommended dosages to minimise gastric side effects. In case of serious gastric side effects, discontinue usage of curcumin.

Curcumin interferes with drug metabolism. Hence it is advised to avoid taking curcumin supplements at the same time as taking other medicines. Maintain a 3-4 hour gap. Also, consult a health practitioner with regards to this to avoid any drug interactions.

Curcumin has blood thinning activity. If taking blood thinners or suffering from a bleeding /clotting disorder it is advisable to avoid curcumin supplements in this case. (Read : Is turmeric a blood thinner?) Consult a health practitioner with regards to this.

Discontinue curcumin supplements 2 weeks prior to surgical procedures to avoid bleeding risk.
If suffering from gallstones or bile duct obstructions, avoid curcumin supplements.

Read : Is turmeric safe in gallstones?

Avoid turmeric supplements during pregnancy and lactation.

Ensure that you opt for good quality curcumin supplements that are free from toxicity, heavy metal contamination, fillers or additives.

It is best to take curcumin supplements with bioperine or other agents that increase its bioavailability.

Consult a health practitioner before taking curcumin supplements.


Through the above studies, we can see that curcumin offers a variety of benefits for psoriasis treatment. It also shows several benefits when combined with other common compounds such as tacrolimus and delphinidin.

Despite being an incurable autoimmune disorder, the efforts scientists are putting into its research is commendable.

At the rate at which novel therapeutics using natural products are being created, the future for psoriasis therapy and eradication is looking bright.

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