Aloe vera is where it’s at. This snazzy succulent boasts beaucoup benefits for your skin. It’s also versatile, natural, and cost-effective. But can aloe vera help with a psoriasis flare-up? Here’s what the science says. Plus, some dope tips to help get your skin back on track.
Does aloe vera work for psoriasis?
Aloe vera can’t cure psoriasis. (FYI: There aren’t any known cures out there yet.) But some studies suggest that aloe vera can help stave off some psoriasis symptoms like scaling skin, redness or discoloration, inflammation, and discomfort.
There isn’t enough information yet to know for sure, but aloe vera cream is generally safe, so it might be worth a try for most folks.
Psoriasis is caused by an unnecessary immune system response. If you have psoriasis, your body may attack your own healthy skin cells when you come in contact with one of your triggers. As your skin kicks into overdrive to repair itself, too many skin cells can build up and create scaly-looking rashes (aka plaques) on your skin.
Common symptoms of psoriasis include:
- red or discolored, swollen, or inflamed skin
- itching, burning, sore, or painful skin
- thick, raised plaques with silvery scales
The science behind aloe vera and psoriasis
Psoriasis isn’t a one-size-fits-all skin sitch, but some research suggests that aloe vera can help improve the condition’s common symptoms.
A study found that a combo of 50 percent propolis (a bee product) and 2 percent aloe vera helped improve psoriasis symptoms in 12 weeks. Another older 2010 study found that aloe vera was slightly more effective than a steroid cream at treating mild-to-moderate psoriasis.
While this is exciting, there isn’t enough evidence to prove whether or not aloe vera itself can be helpful.
It’s super simple to try aloe vera for psoriasis. Aloe vera comes in topical creams and gels that you can apply to the affected areas up to three times a day. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, creams that contain 0.5 percent aloe are your best bet.
Just keep in mind that using aloe vera consistently on your skin for long periods of time can make your skin red, discolored, or itchy.
FYI: There are aloe vera pills available, but these don’t seem to make a difference when it comes to psoriasis. It’s best to stick to remedies you apply directly to your skin.
In general, aloe vera is considered safe when it’s used as a topical skin treatment. But it’s not the right option for everyone and there are some important things to keep in mind when deciding if it’s best for you.
First, make sure you’re using a reputable product. Not all aloe vera products are created equally. Some are loaded with ingredients that can damage or irritate sensitive skin. So, try to stick to pure aloe vera unless your doc says otherwise.
It’s also important not to use aloe vera if you’re allergic to it. Stop use ASAP if you notice:
Not sure if you have an aloe allergy? Do a patch test by applying a dime-size amount behind your ear or on your forearm. If you don’t notice any irritation after 24 hours, you should be good to go.
Aloe vera isn’t the only psoriasis treatment in town. Lots of peeps get relief from:
- prescription steroids
- biologic meds
- topical retinoids
- medicated shampoos or soaps
- over-the-counter (OTC) cortisone creams
Natural treatment options
If you want to stick to a holistic vibe, you’re still in luck. A research review found that there are tons of natural remedies that can help improve symptoms, including:
Aloe vera has major skin care street cred. It’s a safe, affordable, and natural treatment for lots of skin concerns. Some studies suggest it can help improve psoriasis symptoms, but we need more research to know for sure.
Talk with your dermatologist if OTC treatments don’t help improve your symptoms. They can help you find a treatment plan that’s ideal for your unique skin.