5 Reasons To Use Aloe Vera on Eczema | MyEczemaTeam

Connect with others who understand.

sign up Log in
Resources
About MyEczemaTeam
Powered By
See answer

5 Reasons To Use Aloe Vera on Eczema

Medically reviewed by Kelsey Stalvey, PharmD
Posted on September 8, 2023

“My eczema burns a lot right before I go to bed, so it’s so difficult to sleep. I tried aloe vera gel one night instead of lotion, and that helped. Most of the time, the aloe vera gel works better than my expensive lotion does,” reported a MyEczemaTeam member.

Aloe vera is a plant that resembles a cactus and grows in dry, hot climates. Historical records suggest that ancient Egyptian queens used aloe vera as a beauty product. Now a common houseplant, aloe vera continues to be a popular natural remedy for skin conditions like sunburn and acne.

Aloe vera contains at least 75 compounds, including water, protein, and vitamins, which provide moisturizing and anti-inflammatory effects that may help reduce itchy skin and skin infections. Here are some of the potential benefits aloe vera provides that may help ease eczema symptoms.

1. Natural Moisture

Aloe vera is an effective moisturizer, making it a popular ingredient in lotions. Since dryness and irritation in eczema-prone skin can perpetuate the itch-scratch cycle, keeping skin hydrated is essential. Members of MyEczemaTeam have discussed how dryness affects their skin, sharing comments like these:

  • “My dry skin is extremely hard to control. My face has been experiencing dryness and peeling.”
  • “I struggle every day with the itch, dryness, and blisters on the tips of my fingers.”

Aloe vera gel is 99 percent water. It also contains mucopolysaccharides (molecules found in mucus and in fluid around the joints), zinc, and amino acids that help skin retain moisture. You can find aloe in skin care products like lotions and creams or get it straight from the source: Cut open an aloe vera leaf from a live plant and harvest the gel.

2. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Inflammation is an underlying cause of many uncomfortable eczema symptoms, and aloe vera’s natural anti-inflammatory effects may offer much-needed relief. By targeting specific immune pathways, aloe vera helps regulate the immune system and lower inflammation.

Despite these positive effects, taking aloe vera by mouth — it also comes in tablet, capsule, juice, and gel forms — poses some safety concerns. Aloe vera acts as a laxative, making bowel movements easier, and has been associated with painful cramping. It’s best to avoid consuming aloe supplements, especially if you’re taking certain medications or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

3. Itch Relief

Histamine, a product of the immune system, is responsible for allergy-related itching. Members of MyEczemaTeam have discussed how itching affects their skin. “I have itchy patches on my calves, feet, and sometimes my hands,” wrote one member. “I wake up scratching my foot, and it bleeds!”

Compounds like magnesium lactate in aloe vera help lower histamine levels, reducing allergy symptoms and the urge to scratch. Applying aloe vera gel to affected areas offers a cooling sensation that may temporarily soothe itchiness.

A couple of MyEczemaTeam members have noted aloe’s anti-itch benefits. “I found a wonderful product that takes away the terrible itching,” said one member. “It’s just regular old aloe vera gel. With just one application on my chest, it’s taken away the itch and is even clearing up my rash.”

“The eczema on my hands, wrists, and arms is feeling better this morning. I put a lot of aloe on last night and slept with it on. The first time I tried just aloe instead of lotion, and I had no itching throughout the night. I’m going to keep doing that,” said another member.

4. Infection Prevention

Eczema-prone skin is often more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections because a damaged skin barrier (outer layer) is less able to keep out harmful substances. Aloe vera’s antibacterial properties may help strengthen the barrier and protect your skin. For instance, one study showed that aloe vera successfully reduced the growth of bacteria responsible for staph infections and fungi that can cause yeast infections.

Members of MyEczemaTeam have described frustrating experiences with these types of infections. “I have severe atopic dermatitis and am very prone to staph infections,” shared one member.

Another said, “When my ears were crusty, the dermatologist gave me antibiotics and Diflucan. He said it was a yeast infection. The medicine helped with the crustiness, but I still have eczema in my ears.”

While aloe vera is not a replacement for medical advice and prescriptions from your dermatology provider, it can help support better skin health.

5. Wound Healing

A compromised skin barrier is a common problem with eczema. Fortunately, aloe vera contains vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that help restore the skin and aid the healing process, perhaps reducing the chance of scars. Specifically, compounds in aloe vera increase the production of collagen, a protein that’s needed for skin repair.

One MyEczemaTeam member described their history of wounds: “I used to suffer from watery blistering, boils filled with pus, and cracks in my skin that would spread and become open sores.”

Regular use of aloe vera can help fortify your skin’s protective layer, making it more resilient against damage. However, it’s not safe to use aloe on open wounds. See your health care provider if you have an active infection or sore so you can treat it safely and avoid further damage.

Using Aloe Vera for Eczema

If you’re interested in trying aloe vera for your eczema symptoms, look for a pure gel that contains minimal additives and preservatives. As with other eczema products, you’ll want to avoid added fragrances or other potential irritants.

Before applying aloe vera to large areas, do a patch test on a small area of your skin to see how your body reacts. Although most people tolerate aloe well, some find that it worsens eczema symptoms like burning and itchy skin. Always check with your dermatologist before introducing home remedies or different products to your skin care routine.

Apply aloe vera to clean and dry skin. Use a small amount, gently massaging the gel into your skin until it’s absorbed. Avoid rubbing — friction can irritate the skin.

Most research suggests using an aloe-based gel twice a day. While you should notice some immediate cooling and calming of the skin, other benefits can take time to develop. As long as you don’t experience negative side effects, use aloe vera products consistently for a few weeks to see how they affect your skin.

Talk With Others Who Understand

MyEczemaTeam is the social network for people with eczema and their loved ones. On MyEczemaTeam, more than 49,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with eczema.

Do you use topical aloe vera gel on dry skin or eczema flare-ups? What other home remedies or over-the-counter products do you find helpful? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.

    Posted on September 8, 2023
    All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.

    We'd love to hear from you! Please share your name and email to post and read comments.

    You'll also get the latest articles directly to your inbox.

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
    Kelsey Stalvey, PharmD received her Doctor of Pharmacy from Pacific University School of Pharmacy in Portland, Oregon, and went on to complete a one-year postgraduate residency at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, Florida. Learn more about her here.
    Anastasia Climan, RDN, CDN is a dietitian with over 10 years of experience in public health and medical writing. Learn more about her here.

    Related Articles

    During my years of suffering with eczema, I’ve tried many strategies. For a long time, I consiste...

    My Eczema Relief Methods: What Works and What Doesn’t

    During my years of suffering with eczema, I’ve tried many strategies. For a long time, I consiste...
    “I’ll do that when I make more money.”“Once I graduate, I’ll have time to think about that.”“I’ll...

    Prioritizing Your Health in the Midst of Hustle Culture

    “I’ll do that when I make more money.”“Once I graduate, I’ll have time to think about that.”“I’ll...
    One thing I won’t be doing again: scratching my back (as we all do — admit it) on the ancient, ja...

    Distracted by Eczema: How Itching Affects My Focus

    One thing I won’t be doing again: scratching my back (as we all do — admit it) on the ancient, ja...
    Welcome to MyEczemaTeam — the place to connect with others living with eczema. This video will w...

    Getting Started on MyEczemaTeam (VIDEO)

    Welcome to MyEczemaTeam — the place to connect with others living with eczema. This video will w...
    In most cases, eczema is generally not linked to the food people eat.Healthy fats and fermented f...

    Eczema Diet: Foods To Eat and Foods To Avoid

    In most cases, eczema is generally not linked to the food people eat.Healthy fats and fermented f...
    Eczema is a chronic (long-term) condition in which the skin becomes irritated and inflamed. Peopl...

    Itch With Eczema: 11 Ways To Manage (VIDEO)

    Eczema is a chronic (long-term) condition in which the skin becomes irritated and inflamed. Peopl...

    Recent Articles

    Eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis) is an inflammatory skin condition that involves the immu...

    Is Eczema an Autoimmune Disease or an Allergy?

    Eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis) is an inflammatory skin condition that involves the immu...
    MyHealthTeam does not provide health services, and if you need help, we’d strongly encourage you ...

    Crisis Resources

    MyHealthTeam does not provide health services, and if you need help, we’d strongly encourage you ...
    Atopic dermatitis is a large topic. With all the different types and how different people’s bodie...

    Bonding Through Eczema Suffering

    Atopic dermatitis is a large topic. With all the different types and how different people’s bodie...
    In a recent survey of MyEczemaTeam members, respondents discussed the impact atopic dermatitis ha...

    The Impact of Atopic Dermatitis on Quality of Life

    In a recent survey of MyEczemaTeam members, respondents discussed the impact atopic dermatitis ha...
    Eczema affects 31.6 million Americans and many more worldwide, causing symptoms like inflamed, cr...

    Can Bathing With Baking Soda Help Eczema?

    Eczema affects 31.6 million Americans and many more worldwide, causing symptoms like inflamed, cr...
    I’ve been searching, studying, and writing about eczema ever since my diagnosis. My greatest reso...

    How Eczema Affects My Work

    I’ve been searching, studying, and writing about eczema ever since my diagnosis. My greatest reso...
    MyEczemaTeam My eczema Team

    Thank you for subscribing!

    Become a member to get even more:

    sign up for free

    close