Aloe vera: healing or hurting?
The healing touch of aloe vera extract--a soothing substance derived from the aloe plant for use in burn ointments and skin lotions -- apparently has its limitations. Researchers who applied an aloe vera skin gel to infected surgical incisions as an adjunct to standard treatment have discovered, to their surprise, that adding the gel significantly delayed healing.
In the study of 21 women, detailed in the July OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY, 'the [aloe-treated] incisions did not close as quickly as those with standard care [alone]," reports physician Jeffrey S. Greenspoon of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Vertical incisions, for instance, healed after an average of 48 days with standard treatment, but the aloe treatment extended that time to 84 days.