Aloe vera gel comes from inside the leaves of the aloe vera plant. It’s believed to have soothing properties when applied to irritated, sunburned, or environmentally damaged skin. The gel may also have antibacterial properties.
Because of its soothing abilities, aloe vera may be helpful as a supplemental treatment for psoriasis.
For some people, aloe vera might help reduce the symptoms of a psoriasis flare-up. Using aloe vera as a lubricating agent on your skin might also limit the number of flare-ups and keep your skin hydrated.
One 2010 study compared aloe vera to 0.1 percent triamcinolone acetonide, a steroid cream used to treat psoriasis. Cream with aloe vera gel was found to be slightly more effective in improving symptoms from mild to moderate psoriasis.
But there isn’t enough scientific evidence to say aloe vera is effective for sure. Still, the risks are low enough that it might be worth trying as a complementary addition to your psoriasis treatment.
To use aloe vera on psoriasis, apply a cream with aloe vera gel to the affected area of skin. You may need to do this several times a day for a few weeks in order to notice a difference.
Sometimes using aloe vera gel for too long can cause redness or discomfort at the site of application. You may want to use it for a few weeks and take a break for a bit.
The National Psoriasis Foundation points out that there’s no clear benefit from taking oral aloe vera tablets for psoriasis. These kinds of treatments could actually be dangerous because they can cause kidney or digestive issues.
Stick to topical aloe vera treatments for treating psoriasis.
Some people are quite allergic to aloe vera. Before covering a large area, do a patch test on a small, discreet area of your skin and wait to see if you have any kind of negative reaction.
Topical aloe vera is safe for most people with psoriasis to use, except those with an allergy to it.
If you experience an allergic reaction to aloe vera gel, discontinue use immediately and watch the area to make sure that the hives or inflammation subsides.
Certain people might be more at risk for an allergic reaction to aloe vera than others. This includes people who are allergic to plants in the Liliaceae family (garlic, onions, and tulips).
Aloe vera is just one alternative option for treating psoriasis symptoms. Other kinds of psoriasis treatments vary according to the severity of symptoms.
If you’re using a corticosteroid cream to treat your psoriasis, talk to your doctor before using aloe vera.
Sometimes applying aloe vera to the site of a flare-up can change the chemistry of your skin. As a result, your skin could absorb more of the active ingredients in the corticosteroid cream.
If you’re using retinoids to control psoriasis, aloe vera might be an especially helpful thing to add to your treatment. Retinoids can cause your skin to be more susceptible to sun damage, and aloe vera helps to repair skin that’s been burned in the sun.
There are plenty of other alternative remedies to try if you have psoriasis. Tea tree oil, turmeric, and Oregon grape are a few that are currently being explored for their psoriasis-treatment potential.
Oatmeal (for oatmeal baths) and apple cider vinegar are two at-home remedies that you may already have in your pantry.
But alternative remedies aren’t a replacement for medical treatments for psoriasis, especially if you’re more than mildly affected. Make sure to discuss any alternative remedies you’re trying with your doctor.
Aloe vera is a promising alternative treatment to help relieve psoriasis. While some research has demonstrated its healing potential, more studies are needed to determine to what extent aloe vera can be used to heal psoriasis and if there are long-term side effects.
Whenever you decide to try a new psoriasis treatment, be sure to keep your doctor informed and update your treatment plan.