Turmeric Powder for Pimples
Pimples -- small, elevated lesions with white or yellow centers -- result when sebum and dead skin cells block and inflame hair follicles; bacteria on the skin can aggravate the problem. Hormonal changes, sweating and oily facial products can cause or worsen pimples. Although not a serious health threat, pimples, also called pustules, can cause embarrassment and self-consciousness. Some people turn to herbal remedies, such as turmeric powder, to treat pimples. Before trying turmeric for pimples, consult your dermatologist or doctor.
Turmeric, botanically known as Curcuma longa, is a tropical plant native to India and Asia. The rhizome, or underground stem, is dried and used as a culinary spice in Indian cuisine. Turmeric gives curry powder its bright yellow color. Turmeric has been used since 2000 B.C. in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine as a remedy to treat digestive and liver problems, skin diseases and wounds, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Turmeric contains volatile oils, beneficial carotenoids, and the antioxidant vitamins C and E. Its most powerful constituent, however, is a pigment called curcumin, which inhibits the release of inflammation-causing fatty acids called prostaglandins, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. This ability to reduce inflammation, along with curcumin's antioxidant and antibacterial properties, makes turmeric a valuable ally in fighting pimples.
There is some scientific research supporting curcumin's reputation as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. Harvard endocrinologist C.V. Rao found that curcumin reduced inflammation by regulating prostaglandin pathways. In a clinical study conducted by N. Niamsa and C. Sittiwet, the researchers found that a curcumin extract exhibited good antimicrobial activity against a variety of bacteria, including E. coli and S. aureus.
To put turmeric to work on your pimples, Deepak Acharya, M. Sc., Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Botany at Danielson College in Chhindwara, India, advises mixing turmeric powder with enough milk to make a paste, then dabbing it onto affected areas.
Turmeric can cause allergic dermatitis, according to Drugs.com. Apply a small amount to your wrist 24 hours before using to make sure you're not allergic to it. If you experience redness or irritation, rinse it off and discontinue use. Check with your doctor or dermatologist before trying turmeric.
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