The benefits of turmeric cream were observed when the dermatitis was observed to be reducing faster in patients using it as opposed to baby oil.
Hyderabad: Traditional remedies such as turmeric and sandalwood oil can reduce a side-effect of radiation therapy, called radiodermatitis. A combination of turmeric and sandalwood oil has long been used as a home remedy to treat skin problems.
The Mangalore Institute of Oncology conducted a five-week study where women patients who were undergoing curative radiotherapy for breast cancer were given Vicco turmeric ayurvedic cream to reduce radiodermatitis — a skin rash that forms after radiation.
Dr G. Manmohan, a dermatologist, said, "Turmeric and sandalwood oil are often used for their antiseptic properties. It has been used for long in areas where infections can occur and even where there is pigmentation."
The study was conducted on a group of women who were given a popular brand of baby oil and another group were given the turmeric cream. The benefits of turmeric cream were observed when the dermatitis was observed to be reducing faster in patients using it as opposed to baby oil.
Experts say curcumin, a component of turmeric, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which can heal wounds. Processed turmeric that is available in the market is said to have chemicals and patients are advised against it.
"Using turmeric and sandalwood oil is preferable to chemical creams as they are plant extracts. A lot of cosmetics that are available today have artificial colours. Patients should take care before applying these cosmetics on infected areas," said Dr Priyanka Nair, a dermatologist.