Indian Journal of Dermatology
: 2007  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 116-

Turmeric: Role in hypertrichosis and acne

Jasmine H Shaffrathul, Prabhu S Karthick, Reena Rai, CR Srinivas 
 Department of Dermatology, PSG Hospitals, Peelamedu, Coimbatore - 641 004, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
C R Srinivas
Department of Dermatology, PSG Hospitals, Peelamedu, Coimbatore - 641 004, Tamil Nadu

How to cite this article:
Shaffrathul JH, Karthick PS, Rai R, Srinivas C R. Turmeric: Role in hypertrichosis and acne.Indian J Dermatol 2007;52:116-116

How to cite this URL:
Shaffrathul JH, Karthick PS, Rai R, Srinivas C R. Turmeric: Role in hypertrichosis and acne. Indian J Dermatol [serial online] 2007 [cited 2022 May 18 ];52:116-116
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Full Text

Turmeric is used traditionally by Hindus for many religious purposes and in food as colouring agent. It is reported to have wound healing, [1] antitumor, [2] anticancer, [2] antioxidant, [2] antiinflammatory [2] antimicrobial [3] and antifungal [3] effects. It is reported to have an anti-inflammatory effect in arthritis, [4] rheumatism, [4] acne, [4] skin allergy [4] and ulcers. [4] Turmeric is a Rhizome from the plant curcuma longa and curcurmin is its active ingredient. Women use it regularly in South India to decrease hair growth and prevent acne. We undertook this study to determine whether the usage of turmeric reduces hair growth and prevents acne.

73 female staff nurses, attenders and menial workers of a multi specialty hospital, were questioned regarding the duration of using turmeric and reasons for using turmeric. They were examined for Acne and hypertrichosis. Subjects with hypertrichosis were graded according to Freeman Galleway score. [5] Acne was graded as follows [6]

Grade I (Mild) : Comedones, occasional papules

Grade II (Moderate) : Papules, comedones, few pustules

Grade III (Severe) : Predominant pustules, nodules, abscesses

Grade IV (Cystic) : Mainly cysts, abscesses, widespread scarring

Among the 73 women 35 were using turmeric (cases) and 38 were not using turmeric (controls). None of the subjects were using turmeric for increased hair growth.

Among the 35 who were using turmeric 13 (37.1%) had acne and among 38 who were not using turmeric 14 (36.8%) had acne over face. The P value was >0.05 ( P =0.07) which was not statistically significant.

Among 35 who were using turmeric 24 (68.5%) had increased hair growth and among 38 who were not using turmeric 17 (44.7%) had increased hair growth over face which was statistically significant with a P value of P did not have (33.3%) hypertrichosis.

This study showed no statistical difference in the P value among the subjects with acne who used turmeric and those who did not use turmeric. Subjects who were using turmeric did not have decreased hair growth when compared with those who were not using turmeric. Turmeric stains both hair and skin. This yellow hair on the a yellow skin, gives a camouflage effect and so the hair looks less visible. We demonstrated this by taking few strands of black hair and some of them were smeared with turmeric. Those hairs which were smeared with and without turmeric were placed on a yellow background. Those hairs which was colored with turmeric appeared less visible than the hairs without turmeric.

From this study we conclude that turmeric does not decrease hair growth has no influence on acne.


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