Aloe Vera for Healing Burns Fayetteville NC
Hope Mills, NC
General Practice, Aerospace Medicine
Medical School: Univ Of Hlth Sci, Coll Of Osteo Med, Kansas City Mo 64124
Graduation Year: 1999
Aloe Vera for Healing Burns
Aloe, a genus with over 150 species, is mostly native to East and South Africa. Aloe is a succulent plant that has been used medicinally for centuries. Records of its use date back to 1750 BC. The plant has a variety of uses, including topical application for traumatic wounds (from mechanical, traumatic, or thermal injury, including contusions, abrasions, punctures, fractures, sunburn, burns, and frost bite), and chronic wounds (including pressure and diabetic ulcers). Aloe can also be used internally as a laxative and cathartic. The mucilaginous gel from the aloe leaf is an effective wound healing agent and is now found in many commercial skin-care products, shampoos, and conditioners. The bitter, yellow latex from the plant contains hydroxyanthracene derivatives, which act as bowel stimulants and are used commercially as laxatives.
Burns have a number of causes, including thermal agents, ultraviolet light radiation, chemicals, and electricity. Burn damage in the skin causes cellular death, capillary injury, and coagulation of protein. Capillary injury is manifested by increased capillary permeability, resulting in a wet or weepy appearance of second and third degree burns. About two million burns occur yearly in the United States. On average 500,000 are seen in the emergency room, 100,000 result in hospitalization, and 20,000 are of sufficient severity to necessitate care in a burn center. Burns are the fourth most frequent cause of death from unintentional injury. Over 80 percent of minor burns occur in the home, usually being caused by scalds, contact burns, and fabric burns. Most of these burns do not require medical assistance, and may be managed by the patient with appropriate care and nonprescription products.
Signs and Symptoms of Second Degree Burns
? Affects the epidermis, dermis, sweat glands, and hair follicles
? May have pus draining from blistered skin
? Area turns pale when pressure is applied, red color returns slowly
? Mild forms heal in 7-10 days
? More severe burns may take several weeks to heal completely
? Skin may look waxy or speckled
? May cause scarring
A recent clinical study sought to evaluate the efficacy of aloe vera cream for treating second-degree burn wounds and compare its results to those of silver sulfadiazine. The trial included thirty patients with similar types of second-degree burn wounds at two sites on different parts of the body. Each of the patients had one wound treated with aloe vera cream and the other burn treated with topical silver sulfadiazine. The researchers found that the rate of re-epithelialization and healing was significantly faster in the site treated with aloe vera than in the burn site treated with silver sulfadiazine. The burns treated with aloe were fully healed in fewer than 16 days while the burns treated with sulfadiazine were completely healed after 19 days. The results from this study clearly indicate that aloe vera cream is more effective than silver sulfadiazine for treating second-degree burns.1
1 Khorasani G, Hosseinimehr SJ, Azadbakht M, et al. Aloe Vera Versus Silver Sulfadiazine Creams for Second-Degree Burns. Surg Today. 2009;39(7):587-91.