Caffeine Applied to the Skin Now Has Been Shown to Improve Eczema and Psoriasis
We may see caffeine supplementing the therapy of others in the future. More research is needed to fully elucidate its potential, but so far results are promising.”
— Mais Alashqar, MD
Psoriasis is a common skin condition that affects 2-3% of the world population. On the skin, psoriasis looks like red raised plaques with a dandruff like scale on top. Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is another chronic skin condition that usually presents in childhood. The patients suffer from itchy, inflamed skin that can be impossible not to scratch.
A recent article published in SKIN: The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine thoroughly reviews the use of caffeine for treating both eczema and psoriasis. The authors discuss the pathogenesis of both diseases, possible mechanisms by which caffeine exerts its positive effects, and methods by which caffeine could penetrate the skin. The article, authored by Alashqar et al, states “Topical caffeine has been shown to help both diseases, in a number of trials… What is of interest to us here is that caffeine seems to possess both pro-apoptotic and anti-necrotic properties, which serve to inhibit inflammation caused by external factors.”
A naturally derived alternative treatment to common prescription medications would represent a major breakthrough. Although more research needs to be performed to further refine these findings, Alashqar et al. note “we may see caffeine supplementing the therapy of others in the future. More research is needed to fully elucidate its potential, but so far results are promising.”
SKIN: The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine® is a peer-reviewed online medical journal that is the official journal of The National Society for Cutaneous Medicine. The mission of SKIN is to provide an enhanced and accelerated route to disseminate new dermatologic knowledge for all aspects of cutaneous disease.