Aloe vera is a wonder plant that has been delivering results for thousands of years. For example, many people claim that it has helped them with acne, burns, dry skin, psoriasis, and dandruff. The gel from aloe vera can also be applied to the skin to keep wrinkles and lines from settling in too deeply. That’s just the beginning of the natural remedies that people use aloe for.
Are the Benefits for Real or Just Anecdotal?
Some organic skin tips are not backed up by comprehensive research. However, various studies have been done on aloe vera to assess how effective it is in treating different conditions. Here’s an overview of what researchers have found:
- Burns: The Food and Drug Administration approved aloe vera ointment for burns in 1959. Research shows it helps with healing first-degree and second-degree burns. The evidence is murkier for other types of wounds.
- Wrinkles: Aloe vera can be somewhat effective for wrinkles and skin elasticity.
- Cold sores: When aloe is applied, cold sores heal faster than if they were left alone. However, Aloe doesn’t appear to outperform medical treatments of cold sores.
- Acne: Aloe vera helps with mild acne but not so much with deeper acne or cystic acne. Talk to your doctor or dermatologist before using aloe for acne. There may be other creams or products the dermatologist recommends you use with the aloe (or instead of it).
- Psoriasis and radiation dermatitis: Unfortunately, the scientific evidence is mixed at best to support aloe helping conditions such as psoriasis and radiation dermatitis (a frequent side effect of radiotherapy). However, some natural remedies do seem to work great for some people, but at the end of the day, individual results may vary. If you are using aloe for a skin condition, let your doctor or dermatologist know.
Constant, chronic use of aloe vera is not recommended, nor should you rub aloe into serious burns or deep cuts. If your aloe gel causes skin irritation, talk to your doctor or dermatologist about alternatives. Also, be aware that aloe may cause the skin to dry out if you overuse it.
How To Use Aloe Vera
Using an aloe plant for the gel means fresh aloe vera and the additional benefit of greenery in your home. The plants are cactus-like succulents. They are fairly easy to care for, requiring water only every week or every couple of weeks. You can also make new plants from an existing plant.
To access the gel, snip or cut open an aloe leaf and rub the end with the gel into your affected area. Do not eat/ingest the plants. You can try to use the gel for other purposes such as makeup removal or hair conditioning. It may not help as much as you want, but it should not hurt.
To get advice on using aloe vera for your skin condition, get in touch with Windsor Dermatology today. You can call the office or schedule an appointment online. We treat conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne.