Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera and Acne
Aloe Vera
Class: Naturopathic
Family: Other Topicals - Other Topicals

Aloe Vera is a succulent plant that is widely cultivated for ornamental and medicinal purposes. Aloe Vera gel is extracted from the pulp of the Aloe leaf and is widely used as a topical treatment for skin irritation and to accelerate wound healing. Aloe Vera gel may also be consumed orally, and it is reported to have laxative and other effects. Aloe Vera gel is commonly used for the treatment of active acne and acne scars. However, there is little evidence that the use of Aloe Vera gel can significantly reduce the frequency or severity of acne symptoms.

Cross Section of Aloe Vera Leaf
Cross Section of Aloe Vera Leaf

Aloe Vera gel contains a mixture of polysaccharides (complex carbohydrates), proteins, minerals and other molecules which may have biological activity. There is some scientific research has shown that Aloe Vera can help decrease swelling and redness associated with sunburns, first or second degree burns. This anti-inflammatory effect may make Aloe Vera a suitable treatment for the redness and inflammation associated with acne breakouts. Aloe Vera may also have moisturizing properties that can help ameliorate the symptoms of certain anti-acne treatments that cause skin dryness, such as Retinoids (eg. Accutane).

Aloe Vera gel is commonly added to many moisturizers, facial washes, masks and other anti-acne formulations. However, some of the compounds found in Aloe Vera gel may be unstable and it is unclear whether these prepared formulations have the same therapeutic properties as fresh Aloe Vera gel. This discrepancy may also explain some of the contradictory research reports regarding the utility of Aloe Vera as a skin care product.

Chemical and Carbohydrate Composition of Aloe Vera Gel (Femenia)
Chemical and Carbohydrate Composition of Aloe Vera Gel (Femenia)

Aloe Vera gel has been used for centuries in the traditional medicine of the people who live in its native range. When used topically, Aloe Vera gel appears to be quite safe with minimal risk of side effects. In contrast, Aloe Vera can be toxic when consumed orally in large quantities. Aloe Vera may have some antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful to people with acne symptoms. For some acne sufferers, topical Aloe Vera preparations may be worth trying. Use of fresh or unprocessed Aloe Vera gel may be more effective than processed Aloe Vera products.

 

Aloe Vera Images

References

Aloe Vera @ Wikipedia
Aloe vera: a systematic review of its clinical effectiveness. Vogler, et al. 1999.
The Stimulation of Postdermabrasion Wound Healing with Stabilized Aloe Vera Gel‐Polyethylene Oxide Dressing. Fulton. 1990.
Influence of Aloe vera on collagen characteristics in healing dermal wounds in rats. Chithra, et al. 1998.
Effect of Aloe vera topical gel combined with tretinoin in treatment of mild and moderate acne vulgaris: a randomized, double-blind, prospective trial. Hajheydari, et al. 2014.
Use of aloe in treating leg ulcers and dermatoses. Zawahry, et al. 1973.
Evaluation of aloe vera gel gloves in the treatment of dry skin associated with occupational exposure. West, et al. 2003.
Isolation, purification and evaluation of antibacterial agents from Aloe vera. Lawrence, et al. 2009.
Comparative antimicrobial activity of Aloe Vera gel on microorganisms of public health significance. Shahzad, et al. 2009.
Compositional features of polysaccharides from Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller) plant tissues. Femenia, et al. 1999.

Related Treatments

Aloe Vera and Acne