Aloe Vera Can Help With Eczema Symptoms, Itch, and More

Eczema is a condition, which has a significant autoimmune component, that affects the skin, making it dry, irritated, and unbearably itchy. Topical factors, genetics, stress, and diet all play a role in the outbreaks of eczema. There are fortunately remedies available to help with eczema symptoms.

Aloe vera is derived from aloe, which is a succulent plant grown in South America, South Africa, and the Caribbean. It has been used for centuries to soothe the skin and aid in healing, but these soothing properties were only discovered in the United States approximately 60 years ago.

Why Aloe Vera Works

The reason aloe vera is perfect for soothing eczema is because of its anti-inflammatory properties, and it generally speeds up wound healing time and contains 98% water which helps soothe and hydrate the skin. As well, aloe vera is rich in vitamins B12, A, C, and E.

How To Use Aloe Vera

Aloe vera can be used in a variety of ways to help soothe your eczema. You can use the gel directly from the plant or buy natural aloe vera products from a health store. When purchasing aloe vera products make sure that you read the ingredients and avoid any bottled products that contain alcohol and other chemicals as that can irritate your skin.

The purest form of aloe vera comes from the plant itself. You can purchase an aloe vera plant and keep one in your home or plant one in your backyard. It is very low maintenance and easy to care for. This succulent plant only requires watering about every three weeks. In order to extract the gel from your aloe plant, follow these steps:

  • Cut off a leaf from the plant as close to the root as possible.
  • Take the leaf and run it under water then carefully pat it dry.
  • You want the latex to drain from the leaf by placing the cut side down in a bowl for about 15 minutes.
  • After you have drained the latex from the leaf, take the pointed tip and cut it off, if there is excess latex, drain it again.
  • Cut off both sides of the plant at the spines.
  • Then cut down the center from top to bottom while the leaf is laying flat down on a surface.
  • For smaller leaves, scoop out the gel and for larger leaves, you can cut out small blocks.
  • Wash the gel once you remove it from the leaf.

You can use the aloe vera immediately, though make sure that you do a patch test by applying a small amount on your inner wrist and waiting at least 24 hours to see if you have a reaction to it. In the meantime, take the gel and store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator. Fresh aloe vera can keep for about one week.

Precautions

When starting any new treatments, make sure to do so under the supervision of your physician. In very rare cases, aloe vera can cause an allergic reaction which may result in a skin rash; therefore, a small spot test is recommended before applying generously.

Sources: Healthline, Medical News Today
Photo: Pexels

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