While there are many treatments available for seborrheic dermatitis, some people turn to natural remedies like turmeric. This yellow spice, native to India, has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
But is turmeric really effective in treating seb derm?
You’ll be happy to know, turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, has shown promise as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Despite the yellow tinge it leaves, if you’re looking for a natural remedy for seb derm (and aging), topical tumeric is worth trying. Ingesting turmeric has also been shown to imrpove chronic inflammation.
Plus, turmeric golden latte tastes amazing (personal recipe below).
Let’s take a deep dive:
What is turmeric?
Turmeric, scientifically known as Curcuma longa, is a vibrant yellow spice that originates from India. It belongs to the ginger family and is commonly used as a culinary ingredient, especially in Indian cuisine.
The turmeric plant’s roots are harvested, dried, and ground into a fine powder, which is what you typically find in stores. The powder has a warm, earthy flavor with a slightly bitter taste and is often used to add color and flavor to various dishes, including curries and rice.
One of the main components of turmeric is curcumin, a potent plant chemical that possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin is believed to be responsible for many of the potential health benefits associated with turmeric.
In traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, turmeric has long been used for its various therapeutic properties. Some potential benefits of turmeric include its antioxidant effects, which may protect your body from free radicals and stimulate the action of other antioxidants, as well as its ability to lower the risk of heart disease.
Skin benefits of turmeric
Turmeric contains a bioactive component called curcumin which has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and wound healing properties. As a result, it can provide you with numerous skin benefits.
One of the key benefits is its ability to reduce inflammation. Curcumin can soothe inflammed skin, offering relief from itching and redness.
Besides combating inflammation, turmeric also possesses antioxidant properties. These antioxidants help protect your skin from free radical damage, which can lead to premature aging signs. Incorporating turmeric in your skincare routine may contribute to maintaining a youthful appearance by neutralizing free radicals and enhancing your overall skin health.
When it comes to wound healing, curcumin can lower the response of your body to cutaneous wounds, enabling faster healing. By decreasing inflammation and oxidation, turmeric assists in the repair of damaged skin tissue, making it beneficial in the healing process of minor cuts and abrasions.
Whether you’re dealing with acne, atopic dermatitis, or scalp conditions, using turmeric-based products or mixing turmeric with a carrier oil can help soothe and improve your skin’s appearance. Just make sure you perform a patch test before using topical turmeric, as it may cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction in some individuals.
Is turmeric antifungal?
Multiple lab studies have shown that turmeric exhibits antifungal activity against a range of fungi. Curcumin particularly, has been widely demonstrated to be effective.
A 2011 lab study suggested turmeric and ginger worked well and even better in combination. Another study investigated xanthorrhizol (another compound in turmeric) and found it had potential as an anti-Malassezia agent. Yet another compared clove, curcumin and ginger. This study found that curcumin inhibited Malassezia, but not as well as medicinal soap or clove.
Cucurmin was even investigated in combination with common anti-fungal drugs like ketoconazole and nystatin. The combination of both had strong antifungal activity againsts Candida. Admittedly, this has nothing to do with seb derm but it’s proof of turmeric’s broad antifungal effect.
Is topical turmeric good for seborrheic dermatitis?
Turmeric contains powerful active compounds like curcumin and cucurminoid, which are known for their anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. These properties suggest that turmeric may help reduce the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis.
There is no published research on turmeric and seborrheic dermatitis. Most studies have focused on its benefits for eczema, showing that turmeric may potentially improve symptoms by promoting wound healing and strengthening collagen in the skin.
In saying that, turmeric is widely used in India and is a popular traditional face treatment for acne, aging and even seb derm. Knowing what we do about the amazing benefits of turmeric, I think turmeric creams are worth a try. At the very least, it’s unlikely to harm.
How do you use turmeric for seborrheic dermatitis?
Despite the limited research, turmeric is generally considered safe for topical use when applied on the skin. It may cause temporary staining but is not harmful. However, it is worth mentioning that some individuals may experience allergic reactions to turmeric. This could potentially aggravate seborrheic dermatitis.
Therefore, always perform a patch test on a small area of your skin before applying it to your full scalp or affected areas. Monitor your skin closely for at least a day for any adverse reactions or worsening of your rash.
There are a multitude of ways you can use turmeric for your scalp and hair.
Here’s a few ideas on how to use turmeric for your face:
- Mix turmeric with honey: Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with 1 tablespoon of honey to create a paste. Apply the paste to your face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
- Mix turmeric with yogurt: Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt to create a paste. Apply the paste to your face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
- Mix turmeric with milk: Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with 1 tablespoon of milk to create a paste. Apply the paste to your face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
To create a moisturizing DIY turmeric scalp mask, mix equal parts of turmeric and jojoba oil and let it sit on scalp for about 20 minutes. Then, rinse it out with your favorite pair of shampoo and conditioner.
Can ingesting turmeric improve seborrheic dermatitis?
While there is no definitive answer to whether ingesting turmeric can improve seborrheic dermatitis, there is some evidence suggesting that it might have a positive impact on this condition.
Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that could potentially be beneficial in improving chronic inflammation – which plays a major role in seb derm.
Bear in mind that even though most of turmeric’s health benefits come from cucurmin, this compound constitutes a measly 3% of turmeric by weight. It would be impossible to ingest enough cucurmin to see major health benefits. That’s why some people decide to take cucurmin supplements instead.
To enhance absorption, have turmeric (or cucurmin) with black pepper or a fatty meal as cucurmin is fat soluble. Black pepper contains piperine, a substance known to improve curcumin’s bioavailability.
Some potential side effects of consuming turmeric in large doses include upset stomach, nausea, dizziness, and diarrhea. If you plan to introduce turmeric supplements into your diet, start low and go slow.
If you’re on medications, consult with your health professional before taking any cucurmin supplements as it can interact with some drugs.
If you’re only planning on a turmeric golden latte, go for your life. This is my favorite DIY recipe:
- half teaspoon of turmeric
- a shake of ginger
- quarter teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- a pinch of black pepper
- a pinch of cardamom
- a half teaspoon of honey (more if you like it sweeter)
Mix the ingredients together, warm up a glass of soy milk (any milk works) and stir it in. Yum!