Phytotherapy for the skin

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The aim of the course is the study of plant-based products active on skin in relation to the most common pathologies (such as acne, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis) and traumas (such as wounds, burns and bruises). The most used plants will be described, briefly reminding phytochemical botanical information and deepening the mechanisms of action underlying the therapeutic effects, providing details on dosage, adverse effects and contraindications.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, students are expected to know and understand the most important diseases use for skin pathologies; moreover, students will be able to understand mechanisms underlying therapeutic effects in humans. Students will be able to select, if available, possible therapeutic strategies for the treatment of different skin diseases, selecting the best natural products for treatment of the pathological condition.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
The course includes the development of the following topics:
Introduction to the anatomy of the skin (epidermis, dermis, hypodermis), cell populations involved in the immunological and inflammatory response
Outline of skin pharmacology and percutaneous absorption pathways
Factors affecting the permeability of bioactive compounds and types of topical preparations (solid, liquid, semi-solid)
Main skin pathologies (inflammatory or infectious type) subjected to phytotherapeutic treatment
Natural products studied in the skin, for each plant are discussed:
- drugs and active constituents
- mechanisms of action with in vitro and in vivo studies
- effects on a clinical level
- dosage and side effects
Main plants used for topical use:
Aloe vera, Calendula officinalis, Hypericum perforatum, Curcuma longa, Mahonia aquifolium, Capsicum frutescens, Strobilanthes formosanus, Persea americana, Hamamelis virginiana, Melaleuca alternifolia, Melissa officinalis, Arctium lappa, Echinacea spp., Arnica montana, Cannabis sativa.
Main plants used orally:
Oenothera biennis, Borago officinalis, Ribes nigrum
Scientific reference sources
Prerequisites for admission
There are no propedeutic exams. Students who attended the courses of Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy are particularly welcomed.
Teaching methods
Use of slides and ppt. for conventional lessons
Teaching Resources
Books which may be consulted by students:
- Capasso F., Grandolini G. Izzo A. Fitoterapia. Springer, Milano.
- Mazzanti, Dell'Agli, Izzo. Farmacognosia e Fitoterapia: basi farmacologiche e aspetti applicativi. Piccin Editore. 2020.
- Micali G., Potenza M.C., Fabbrocini G., Monfrecola G., Tosti A., Veraldi S. Le basi della dermatologia. Springer 2014
Accessing to the course-related Ariel site, all the material used for lessons, including all the slides used during the course, will be available for download.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The examination grade is expressed in thirtieths. The exam consists of a brief oral conversation (around 20 minutes).
The oral exam will examine in depth preparation of the candidate including knowledge acquired and ability of presentation. During the exam, three questions will be asked; to pass the exam, it is necessary to adequately answer to at least two of the three questions.
BIO/14 - PHARMACOLOGY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 24 hours
Professor: Sangiovanni Enrico