Aloe Vera is a succulent plant that originates in North Africa. For centuries, the gel from the plant has been used topically for treating minor burns, wounds and skin disorders such as psoriasis. Today it is also used in many cosmetics, soaps, moisturizers and body washes to alleviate and prevent dry skin and other skin disorders. If you are considering using aloe vera gel, consult your physician first.
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Dry skin can be blamed on a number causes, including air conditioning and central heating, frequent hot showers or baths, cold weather with low humidity, soaps and lotions that are not pH balanced to suit the skin, overexposure to the sun, conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, and thyroid disorders. Skin that is dry may flake or crack, redden and become swollen. If left untreated, it may also become infected by bacteria.
Aloe Vera Gel
The clear gel extracted from the leaves of the aloe vera plant has been used for many years in the treatment of wounds and other skin ailments. Aloe vera gel soothes the skin, reducing soreness and discomfort. It can also help to prevent cracking and flaking.
Aloe Vera and Skin Inflammation
Aloe vera can be used to remedy severely dry skin that is inflamed. According to a study published in the February 2008 edition of "Skin Pharmacology and Physiology," aloe vera has calming and anti-inflammatory effects on skin that has been sunburned, within 48 hours of topical application. This means it can also reduce redness, swelling and discomfort of dry skin.
Aloe Vera and Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that results in thickened patches of extremely dry skin with a buildup of plaque. It can cause severe physical and emotional discomfort. According to Medline Plus, the soothing and anti-inflammatory effects of aloe vera gel may reduce the symptoms of psoriasis.
According to the Aloe Vera Gel website, the use of aloe vera gel topically for skin conditions has not been associated with any side effects or contraindications. You should consult your physician before using aloe vera gel.