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Effet cicatrisant du gel d'aloe vera.

How To Use Aloe Vera on Wounds in the Need of Healing.

A key ingredient in skincare, aloe vera is said to have moisturizing, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These virtues seem to make it a very suitable active ingredient to help with wound healing. Can we thus call aloe a natural cure?

Summary
Published March 12, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 5 min read

Aloe Vera in a Few Words.

Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) is a plant with fleshy leaves that belongs to the Asphodelaceae, a family of succulent plants. Very appreciated for its aesthetic and decorative potential in apartments, it also has cosmetic and therapeutic qualities. When cut in half, an aloe vera leaf reveals a viscous substance: aloe vera gel. Once purified, it can be used in skin and hair care products.

The use of this plant goes back to ancient civilizations. Its virtues have been recognized by Chinese, Hindu and Greek medicines for centuries. According to historians, in ancient times, aloe vera gel was used by Greek soldiers as a repairing agent and cure. Today, aloe vera is still a preferred ingredient in numerous medicines around the world.

The Natural Aloe Cure.

By definition, a bandage or cure is a compress placed on a wound to help it heal quickly and prevent it from becoming infected.  Aloe vera gel has this same characteristic: the application of an aloe cure on a wound allows indeed to accelerate its healing. Let us see how this active ingredient acts.

First, it has healing properties. According to a recent study, acemannan, a polysaccharide present in aloe vera gel, considerably accelerates wound closure and cell proliferation. This is possible by activating the ATK/mTOR signaling pathway, which is involved in the development of new capillaries (angiogenesis). The production of collagen and glycosaminoglycans is also increased. These molecules belong to the extracellular matrix of the skin and contribute to its structure. Moreover, aloe vera gel also contains glucomannan, another polysaccharide essential to healing. This molecule acts on the fibroblast growth factor, TGF-β1, which increases their activity. The secretion of elastin and collagen by the fibroblasts is thus amplified.

In addition, aloe vera gel is moisturizing due to its composition rich in polysaccharides and hygroscopic amino acids. Just after being injured, a wound tends to be red and painful: the skin can burn, itch or pull. It is then necessary to moisturize it well so that it can heal correctly. Aloe vera will moisturize the area to soothe it, and reduce pain and itching.

Finally, aloe vera gel also has anti-inflammatory properties that come from its ability to inhibit the production of TNF-α and interleukin 6, pro-inflammatory cytokines. TNF-α is targeted by certain flavonoids such as quercetin and Kaempferol contained in aloe vera gel, and then sees its activity inhibited.

How To Use Aloe Vera on Wounds?

Pure aloe vera gel can be applied directly to a wound to soothe pain and promote healing. It is also possible to soak a compress in it and then apply it to the wound. The application of aloe vera gel can be repeated several times a day as needed.

You can use either a commercial gel or a gel from a houseplant. When extracting the gel, the latter should not be confused with aloe vera latex, which is yellow-brownish and contains molecules that are potentially allergenic when applied topically, due to the presence of anthraquinones.

Note: Although an aloe cure can soothe minor wounds, it is necessary to consult a health professional in case of serious injury or if the wound becomes infected or shows no sign of improvement after a few days.

Sources

  • PATUMRAJ S. & al. Therapeutic effects of Aloe vera on cutaneous microcirculation and wound healing in second degree burn model in rats. Journal of the medical association of Thailand (2000).

  • PATUMRAJ S. & al. Effects of Aloe vera on leukocyte adhesion and TNF-alpha and IL-6 levels in burn wounded rats. Clinical hemorheology and microcirculation (2003).

  • MAIA CAMPOS P. M. & al. Moisturizing effect of cosmetic formulations containing Aloe vera extract in different concentrations assessed by skin bioengineering techniques. Skin research and technology (2006).

  • Thèse de Margaux ROULLIER. Le gel d’aloe vera en usage topique et ses vertus cicatrisantes (2015).

  • BISWAS S. & al. Aloe vera as an antagonist for TNF-alpha: in silico study. International journal of innovative science and research technology (2019).

  • LI J. & al. Aloe vera: A medicinal plant used in skin wound healing. Tissue engineering (2021).

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