Aloe vera has been proven to help improve wound healing.

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A succulent plant found across the world, aloe vera isn’t known for being exceptionally beautiful, what with its lack of color and intimidating spikes. Despite that lack of aesthetic value, aloe vera has long been heralded for its medicinal uses, especially when it comes to wound care. ​The plant has been used to treat any number of small cuts, abrasions, skin irritations, and mild burns. It’s been used as a topical ointment and in dressings, but the question still remains: Is aloe vera an effective choice to improve wound healing? ¹

Most wounds heal well with home treatment and do not scar. Minor scrapes may be uncomfortable, but they usually heal within 3 to 7 days. ²

However, by using aloe vera gel the full effects of the skin damage may take 24 hours to appear. ³

The way a wound heals depends on the depth, size, and location of the scrape. Whether a scrape heals with or without a scab does not affect the healing time or the amount of scarring. ²

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How does aloe vera work?

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, while the aloe vera plant is 99 percent water, it does contain two powerful chemicals that improve wound healing. Polysaccharides have been known to increase cellular movement, which leads to faster and more efficient tissue regrowth. Glycoproteins, meanwhile, are not only a pain reliever but can help control the inflammatory response. There’s even evidence that these two compounds together may improve the immune  system, and that’s better for the body overall. ¹

Aloe vera gel can not only increase the amount of collagen in wounds but also change the composition of collagen, increase collagen cross-linking and thereby promote wound healing. Scientific studies have shown that the gel can increase the flexibility and reduce the fragility of the skin since 99% of the gel is water. 

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Dr. James Fulton, M.D. (Dermatologist)

Dermatologist James Fulton, M.D., of Newport Beach, California, principal author of the report, uses topical aloe in his practice to speed wound healing. “Any wound we treat, whether it’s suturing a cut or removing a skin cancer, heals better with Aloe Vera on it,” he states.

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Does aloe vera help with cutaneous wounds?

In 2015, a group of researchers performed a through examination of aloe vera’s effect on cutaneous wounds. Publishing their results in the journal BioMed Research International, the team found that aloe vera is quite effective in dealing with this specific wound type. While both polysaccharides and glycoproteins were mentioned, the scientists also brought attention to other compounds. Glucomannan, for instance, stimulates the growth of fibroblasts, and it’s these cells that help build new collagen and tissue. Other chemicals in aloe vera also can foster the secretion of the body’s own insulin-like growth factors, which are mostly responsible for blood vessel regrowth. ¹

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REFERENCES

  1. https://advancedtissue.com/2016/08/aloe-vera-effective-wound-care/
  2. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/sig49202
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-does-sunburn-last#poisoning
  4. https://www.aloeveraaustralia.com.au/experts-practicality-to-the-power-of-aloe-vera/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6330525/#:~:text=Aloe%20vera%20gel%20can%20not,and%20thereby%20promote%20wound%20healing.&text=Scientific%20studies%20have%20shown%20that,of%20the%20gel%20is%20water.