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The succulent aloe plant has been valued since prehistoric times for the treatment of skin problems, from rashes to wounds to burns. Aloe vera cream may be helpful for treating psoriasis.
Effect of Aloe on Psoriasis
The exact effect of aloe vera on psoriasis is not clear. Aloe is generally regarded as a soothing balm that can enhance the healing of skin irritations and wounds, though research evidence for this is not strong.
Read more details about Aloe.
Research Evidence on Aloe
Aloe vera cream may be helpful for psoriasis, according to a double-blind study performed in Pakistan that enrolled 60 men and women with mild to moderate symptoms of psoriasis.19 Participants were treated with either topical Aloe vera extract (0.5%) or a placebo cream, applied 3 times daily for 4 weeks. Aloe treatment produced significantly better results than placebo, and these results were said to endure for almost a year after treatment was stopped. The study authors also reported a high level of complete "cure," but what exactly they meant by this was not reported clearly.
However, a follow-up study of 40 people that attempted to replicate these results failed to find aloe more effective than placebo.29
How to Use Aloe
The findings of one study suggest that aloe-based creams are more effective than gels.8 Topical aloe vera cream typically contains 0.5% aloe and is applied three times daily.
Types of Professionals That Would Be Involved with This Treatment
- Integrative dermatologist
Other than occasional allergic reactions, no serious problems have been reported with aloe gel, whether used internally or externally. However, comprehensive safety studies are lacking. Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
Keep in mind that if aloe is used as a treatment for diabetes, and it proves effective, blood sugar levels could fall toolow, necessitating a reduction in medication dosage. Close monitoring of blood sugar levels is, therefore, advised.
In addition, there is one report of an herb-drug interaction between aloe and the anesthesia drug sevoflurane, in which it appeared that aloe may have increased sevoflurane's "blood thinning" effect. 1 Another isolated report appears to connect aloe to liver inflammation in one person. 2 (Since aloe does not appear to possess any liver toxicity in general, this report would seem to suggest an “idiosyncratic,” in other words, a highly personal reaction to the herb.)
Interactions You Should Know About
If you are using:
- Hydrocortisone cream : Aloe gel might help it work better. 3
- Medications for diabetes : Oral use of aloe vera might cause your blood sugar levels to fall too low.
- Lee A, Po Chui PT, Aun ST, et al. Possible interaction between sevoflurane and Aloe vera. Ann Pharmacother. 2004;38:1651-1654.
- Bottenberg MM, Wall GC, Harvey RL, Habib S. Oral aloe vera-induced hepatitis. Ann Pharmacother. 41(10):1740-3.
- Davis RH, Parker WL, Murdoch DP. Aloe vera as a biologically active vehicle for hydrocortisone acetate. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 1991;81:1-9.
- Syed TA, Cheema KM, Ashfaq A, et al. Aloe vera estract 0.5% in ahydrophilic cream versus Aloe vera gel for the management of genital herpes in males. A placebo-controlled, double-blind, comparative study [letter]. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 1996;7:294-295.
- Syed TA, Ahmad SA, Holt AH, et al. Management of psoriasis with Aloe vera extract in a hydrophilic cream: a placebo-controlled, double-blind study. Trop Med Int Health. 1996;1:505-509.
- Paulsen E, Korsholm L, Brandrup F, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of a commercial Aloe vera gel in the treatment of slight to moderate psoriasis vulgaris. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2005;19:326-331.
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