Green tea is already touted for its cancer-fighting properties. A new study finds that it may also hold promise in treating inflammatory skin conditions such dandruff, lupus-induced lesions and psoriasis.
In skin diseases like psoriasis, skin cells multiply out of control, causing the skin to be thicker and to flake off. Immune cells in the body are also activated, causing inflammation to set in, reports CBC News.
Dr. Stephen Hsu, lead investigator on the study, said that the traditional treatment of ultraviolet light and medication can control the lesions of the skin, but may cause squamous cell carcinoma -- the second most common form of skin cancer, after long-term use.
Green tea, which is plant-derived, may be an alternative, he says. But researchers must work to overcome some barriers with the treatment and further study is needed to determine the full effects.
The chemicals in green tea are so active that they are oxidized too quickly when mixed with other ingredients. They also dissolve in water, which cannot penetrate the skin's barrier.
Researchers are looking for a balanced formula that can dissolve in fats, which can permeate the skin, Dr. Hsu said, according to Xinhua.