In an article published in Psoriasis: Targets and Therapy, researchers evaluated the safety and efficacy of a 3% salicylic acid treatment gel containing turmeric, a low concentration of salicylic acid, and a shea butter exfoliating moisturizer. Investigators reported that a once-daily over-the-counter  turmeric/salicylic acid gel before a shea butter/salicylic acid exfoliating moisturizer showed excellent tolerability and efficacy in plaque-type psoriasis following 12 weeks of use.

The trial included 20 patients with mild-to-moderate psoriasis with less than 10% body surface area involvement. The participants were assessed at baseline and weeks 4, 8, and 12 for treatment tolerability and efficacy using a 5-point scale. The authors’ evaluation of the gel’s efficacy was based on patient-reported redness, scaling, and overall skin problems, while tolerability was based on stinging, burning, itching, and irritation. Half the participants were also using other prescription psoriasis treatments.

Reportedly, erythema, desquamation, induration, and Investigator Global Assessment scores were significantly reduced from baseline (P≤.021) at weeks 4, 8, and 12. At week 12, reductions reached 48%, 46%, 51%, and 48%, respectively. Furthermore, the investigators reported no cases of irritation or edema at any point, although mild irritation was recorded at the follow-up timepoints. Participants’ assessments of redness, scaling, and overall improvement significantly reduced in 8 out of 9 measures (P≤.037).

Ultimately, once-daily over-the-counter salicylic acid/turmeric gel plus shea butter/salicylic acid exfoliating moisturizer showed considerable efficacy in improving psoriasis alone or as an adjunct to topical corticosteroids or injectable biologics.

Reference: Draelos ZD. The efficacy and tolerability of turmeric and salicylic acid in psoriasis treatment. Psoriasis (Auckl). 2022;12:63-71. doi:10.2147/PTT.S360448