Is Aloe Vera Good for Eczema?
Aloe Vera juice has a great reputation as a skin healer. But can aloe vera help eczema? The short answer is yes, but evidence points to even greater benefits of aloe vera for eczema when it’s combined with other herbs.
How Does Aloe Vera Work?
Eczema or atopic dermatitis is where the skin itches, gets excessively dry, weeps or all of the above. It is one of the most frustrating skin conditions. Aloe vera is well known for it’s moisturising and healing properties, so it would seem a natural fit.
And if you look at how aloe vera works, it very much makes sense: If you ever break off an aloe leaf, you’ll see the cut seals over quickly with a film and a rubber-like protective coating to prevent loss of water. In a short time, the wound heals completely.
The enzymes that enable this process have a similar effect in humans. Aloe vera helps foster the growth or healthy new tissue. It can penetrate to the water-retaining second layer of skin, helping to eradicate dead cells which not only rejuvenates the skin, but also fights infection.
What Are The Benefits Of Aloe Vera?
Aloe can also reduce skin inflammation and irritation. A 2018 clinical trial showed that adding aloe vera to a deodorant significantly reduced the irritancy potential of the aluminium chloride in the deodorant. Anti-irritation and anti-inflammation properties are important factors in controlling eczema.
So clearly aloe vera has demonstrated its potency against the symptoms of eczema. And all these benefits are why aloe is a key ingredient in many Odylique products – from our Repair Lotion and other moisturisers, to shampoos, deodorant and bodywashes.
But the plant kingdom is rich, and there are several other herbs which have proven benefits specifically on eczema skin.
What Other Plants Are Good For Eczema?
One of these is calendula, the common garden marigold. Calendula in one study on infant dermatitis even outperformed aloe vera, healing over 70% of sufferers after 10 days compared to 56% for aloe vera.
Chamomile is another extraordinary herb. A certain concentrated extract of German chamomile (chamomila recutita) has proven itself as effective on dermatitis as mild steroids, but without the side effects.
We use all 3 herbs – aloe, calendula and chamomile – plus chickweed, traditionally known for its anti-itching properties, in Odylique’s Repair Lotion.
Beware Of Different Types of Aloe
As a side note, it is also good to be aware of the type of aloe you’re using, as they vary in type and quality. There are over 300 varieties of aloe, all of which have different properties. – Aloe barbadensis is the most commonly used variety in skin care. But other crucial aspects are how the aloe is extracted and what else it is mixed with.
And incidentally the aloe vera quality is often not specified in clinical trials. – Arguably aloe vera could be proven even more effective if studies were more particular about the purity of the aloe.
Pure aloe juice has to be preserved, often artificially, and strong (irritant) preservatives can negate the benefits of the aloe.
If you would like to find out more about the quality of our specific aloe vera then click here.
It is also worth pointing out that a 2019 study in Korea found that drinking aloe vera gel effectively improved atopic dermatitis (eczema), by reducing inflammation and restoring skin cell function. But just a word of caution – before taking aloe or other food supplements internally, please follow the instructions carefully and consider seeking the advice of a qualified nutritionist.
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If you’d like any more advice on eczema please do email us – firstname.lastname@example.org, add your question as a comment below, or call 01638 491022 – we’re here to help!
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Panahi Y, Sharif MR, Sharif A et al. A randomized comparative trial on the therapeutic efficacy of topical aloe vera and Calendula officinalis on diaper dermatitis in children. Sci World J 2012; 2012: 810234.
J Cosmet Sci. 2018 May/Jun;69(3):213-228.
The Blend of Taurine and Aloe Vera Extract Boosts Action Against Skin Irritation: In Vitro and Clinical Evaluations.
https://doi.org/10.1111/sji.12856 Oral treatment with Aloe polysaccharide ameliorates ovalbumin‐induced atopic dermatitis by restoring tight junctions in skin. First published:03 December 2019