The history of goat milk dates back to the time of Cleopatra of Egypt and presently there are many skin and hair products in which goat milk is used as a base ingredient. Milk not only contain the essential nutrients required for development and appropriate growth of the neonate but also contain substances such as emulsified globules, lactose, certain mineral and vitamins which are beneficial in fighting many dermatological and skin related diseases. Many products such as soaps, moisturizers etc. are made particularly from goat milk which is used not only in wound healing but also as an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory agent which may help in strengthening the immune system and promote healthy proliferation and differentiation of epidermal cells (outer most layer of cells) in the skin.
Goat milk is found to have therapeutic effect against acne, dermatitis, xerosis, first and second degree burn and psoriasis. It also possess anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and moisturizing properties which may help in keeping the skin young and healthy.
Milk is essentially one of the most important raw product in food industry in manufacture of cheese, yogurt and many other delicacies. However, it is also used in pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry due to its undeniable biological potentials for which it has been analyzed in various researches to determine its medicinal properties [1,2]. Among them, goat milk has been found to possess the most benefits when it comes to the health of skin. The history of goat milk dates back to the time of Cleopatra of Egypt and presently there are many skin and hair products in which goat milk is used as a base ingredient.
Milk not only contain the essential nutrients required for development and appropriate growth of the neonate but also contain substances such as emulsified globules, lactose, certain mineral and vitamins  which are beneficial in fighting many dermatological and skin related diseases. Many products such as soaps, moisturizers etc. are made particularly from goat milk which is used not only in wound healing but also as an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory agent which may help in strengthening the immune system and promote healthy proliferation and differentiation of epidermal cells (outer most layer of cells) in the skin .
GOAT MILK IN SKIN CARE:
- IN TREATMENT OF PSORIASIS:
Milk protein in goat milk such as whey protein and lactoferrin may also be used topically as a treatment option for psoriasis due to its properties as an anti-inflammatory agent. It also acts as an anti-oxidant which help by combatting free oxygen radicals and other toxic oxidants in the skin. This was confirmed by one of the studies, where 22 patients with psoriatic plaques were included and treated by ointment containing milk protein i.e. lactoferrin. After weeks of administration it was concluded that the patients showed a remarkable reduction in redness, scaling and elevation of the psoriatic plaque. The dryness and itching of the skin was also remarkably reduced .
- IN THE TREATMENT OF XEROSIS:
Xerosis or simply called the dry skin is a condition in which there are low water levels in the skin due to depletion of water barrier of the skin . This low level of water this result in dry, irritated, dry skin with the loss of excessive moisture. In various diseases of dry skin namely Psoriasis, eczema and ichthyosis the essential lipids such as ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol levels are low [11,12].
Goat milk is high in cholesterols and fatty acid which may balance the low levels present in the skin of individuals with psoriasis and eczema. It may also help to restore the water barrier of the skin, maintain the moisture of the skin and help in water retention in the skin [13,14].
- EXFOLIATING PROPERTIES:
Goat milk contain a class of compounds known as alpha- hydroxyl acids (AHAs) which are rich in exfoliating and anti-aging properties which may be used to lighten or reduce the scar marks, hyper pigmented spots and spots related to aging . The most important AHA product in goat milk is lactic acid which may gently remove and exfoliate the dead or diseased skin, thus giving rise to healthier and youthful skin [15,16]. Lactic acid is the mildest and gentlest form of AHAs making it a suitable option for individuals for sensitive skin type.
- NUTRIENT RICH AGENT:
Fatty acid and cholesterol are two important constituents of skin membrane. Goat milk is abundant in these lipid molecules which prevent skin dryness, as well as in Vitamin A which is believed to possess anti-aging properties [19,20] and selenium which is believed to be responsible for a glowing and healthy looking skin. Goat milk may be used in the form of face wash, creams, shower gel, ointment (in patients with psoriasis, eczema, burn and ichthyosis) and as a sun block as well. Caproic acid is particularly responsible for moisturizing effects of goat milk on the skin.
- SUPPORT THE NORMAL FLORA OF THE SKIN:
Goat milk soap may support the normal flora of the skin i.e. the healthy bacteria present on the skin . This is achieved by the fact that it does not remove the normal oils and moisture of the skin as most of the soaps and thus protect the normal flora of the skin. Normal flora keeps the skin healthy and prevent invasion of harmful bacteria on the skin which may thus result in development of acne and dermatitis. Moreover, goat milk and its products are also rich in probiotics such as lactobacillus which is responsible for production of lactic acid, which may thus act as an anti-inflammatory and exfoliating agent [21, 23].
- IN TREATMENT ON BURNS:
Goat milk is rich is milk proteins such as lactoferrin and whey protein which make it a sutible substitute in treatment of burn wounds. One of the study concluded that application of milk protein on a synthetic polymer in a burn patient may increase the spread and growth of keratinocytes and fibroblasts thus healing the wound effectively . Another study concluded that goat milk cream with Gundelia may heal second degree burn promptly by supplying all the essential amino acids, proteins, vitamins and fatty acids which are responsible for the growth of a healthy skin .
Goat protein is not only rich in milk proteins such as whey and lactoferrin but also abundant in essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid and caprylic acid as well as vitamins such as A, E and lecithin all of which have a therapeutic action in treatment of burn wounds .
- ROLE AGAINST ACNE:
Goat milk is rich is lactic acid, which help in controlling and preventing the relapse of acne. This is done due to the fact that lactic acid in goat milk act as a natural exfoliating agent that removes the dead and damaged skin, keeping pores of the skin clear from excessive sebum and all the environmental pollutants such as dirt, oil, impurities. It also help in maintaining the moisture of the skin which thus contribute in decreased sebum production and prevent clogging of pores .
One other most fundamental compound in goat milk is the presence of a milk protein called Lactoferrin. It is proved to significantly improve the skin of patients with psoriasis and acne by reducing the inflammatory reaction and improving the overall clinical prognosis of the above mentioned skin condition [5,6]. To understand the therapeutic effects of lactoferrin, a study was conducted in which goat milk rich in lactoferrin was used by patients with acne vulgaris. It was observed after 12 weeks of application that there was a significant reduction in inflammation of the skin, reduction in acne lesions as well as decreased production of sebum, it was also observed that moisture of the skin was also well preserved after the application.
- AS A CLEANSING AGENT:
Most of the soaps present in market have found to contain substances which may remove the natural moisture and oils form the skin making it dry, irritated and tight. Goat milk on the other hand is a best cleaning agent as it not only remove dirt and debris but also maintain the moisture of the skin and replenish essential lipids required for the health of skin and maintain the water barrier of the skin . Goat milk is also gentle on human skin due to the fact that its pH values is same as that of human skin making it less likely to cause allergic reaction. Not only limited to that, goat milk has capacity to reduce inflammation and irritation in the skin as well as act as a skin regenerator due to the presence of caprylic acid making it younger, fresh and gentle.
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