Psoriasis is caused by a problem with the immune system and does not currently have a cure. Also, up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis go on to develop psoriatic arthritis.
This article explores the potential benefits of aloe vera as a treatment for psoriasis and considers the scientific evidence available to support its use.
Contents of this article:
- Does aloe vera help psoriasis?
- Benefits of aloe vera for psoriasis
- How to use aloe vera
- Risks and considerations
- Other treatments for psoriasis
Does aloe vera help psoriasis?
Psoriasis causes painful and uncomfortable patches of inflamed skin. Sometimes these patches can crack and bleed.
If psoriasis starts to affect people’s joints, it is called psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis can cause a person’s joints to become swollen, stiff, and painful.
Aloe vera is a type of succulent with gel-filled leaves. Applying pure aloe vera gel to psoriatic skin patches may have a soothing effect, reduce inflammation, and improve hydration. It may also be beneficial for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis.
Some studies suggest aloe vera gel can help manage specific symptoms associated with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. However, there is not much evidence to support aloe vera gel as a stand-alone treatment, so a person with psoriasis should talk to their doctor about medicated creams and other remedies.
Benefits of aloe vera for psoriasis
A 2012 study found aloe vera gel to be over 81 percent effective in the treatment of psoriasis. However, this study used an animal model, so more research is needed to see if aloe vera gel has an equally beneficial effect on psoriasis in humans.
While the effects of aloe vera are unproven for psoriasis specifically, the following studies show it may be beneficial for certain symptoms:
Helps heal wounds
A 2015 review noted that aloe vera’s healing property is related to a compound called glucomannan, which affects skin cell growth and accelerates wound healing.
As a result, the wound healing properties of aloe vera gel may be beneficial if a person with psoriasis has skin patches that crack or bleed.
Helps the skin to make collagen
Aloe vera gel may lead to the skin making more collagen. As well as contributing to the healing process, collagen helps to keep the skin elastic and firm.
The glucomannan contained in aloe vera encourages collagen production and collagen improves skin elasticity, so increased collagen production may help to reduce the scaly patches caused by psoriasis.