The Magic of Aloe Vera as a Treatment for Minor Burns
Why I Believe in Aloe Vera
The Aloe vera plant has been used for centuries dating back to the Egyptians. It has traditionally been used for healing purposes and is a truly amazing plant. This plant is easy to find and economical to purchase. I believe every household should own a few Aloe vera plants! Not only can they be a lovely visual addition to your home, but they are widely beneficial and one of the best first-aid remedies ever. I always have one in my house. Below are my first-hand experiences using Aloe vera to help treat contact burns and prevent blisters and scars.
Important Precautions and Disclaimers
- All severe burns require medical attention. Always err on the side of caution and seek professional help for treating burns.
- If a burn is so severe that the skin is broken, a trip to an emergency clinic is required for professional treatment from a doctor.
- All chemical burns require medical help and a doctor must be consulted. Chemical burns must be washed for a very long time to remove all traces of chemicals.
- Some people may be allergic to Aloe vera and it should be used with caution.
- There are many products that contain Aloe vera as an ingredient and they should be tested on a small part of the skin to check for signs of irritation before using.
- Aloe vera gel is a complex mix of active ingredients that are still being studied.
- Only use Aloe vera. There are many types of Aloe, each with their own some chemical composition, and some are said to be toxic.
- Use only Aloe vera only on unbroken skin as a topical treatment. Never use internally.
- Various clinical studies disagree on the benefits of Aloe vera in the treatment of burns.
- Below are my own firsthand accounts. This article is meant to simply to share a helpful experience but is not meant to replace any professional medical advice.
Aloe Vera to the Rescue
My husband had a very unfortunate accident one morning while he was deep frying some batter. He was barefoot, and when he flipped the batter, he splashed some of the sizzling fat on his bare toes! The reddening was instantaneous. We rushed to the bathroom to cool the wound with cold water. The wound was red and angry and sure to blister painfully.
My husband was also diabetic. This is a serious injury for someone with this condition. I had worried visions of his recovery being long with infection certainly setting in. I was very concerned for him. I wondered if we should just rush to the emergency room, but the skin was still intact, although it was going to blister. I reasoned the Aloe vera would at least give him some relief from the scalding pain until we decided the best course of action.
After we finished cooling down the burn with cool water, I asked him to try the Aloe vera gel from our plant, promising to be gentle. He was wary and told me that if it would sting, he didn't want it. I couldn’t guarantee the effect but promised to stop if he felt it was aggravating his injury.
I sliced open a thick juicy stem and laid it gently, juicy side down, on his red toes. There was a momentary gasp, and I uttered a small prayer under my breath. I honestly didn’t think it would have any impact on such a burn. There would be painful blisters that needed attention for certain. Sizzling hot grease on skin is not pretty! I thought, if this worked, I would forever believe in the power of Aloe vera for burns.
I looked up and asked him if he wanted the Aloe vera removed, and although he was grimacing, he said it was helping. At that moment, I felt a faint glimmer of hope. I gently moved the juicy stem to cover the entire reddened area and cut more fresh aloe as the gel absorbed into his skin (the gel soaks into the burned area like a sponge). We sat there for awhile, me ministering to his foot, adding more gel as his skin soaked it up. Finally, he seemed to get enough relief. We stopped and left the foot uncovered to observe what would develop.
I asked if we still should go to the emergency room anyway, but he told me to hold off since the pain seemed to have stopped. I was incredulous. Before long, even the reddening paled, and by evening, it looked like he had never even experienced a burn. That made him a believer. He wore his shoes the next day with no irritation.
Our Familiar Hero
I have also had an intense burn that would have blistered severely if it weren't for our handy Aloe vera. I accidentally lifted a hot cast iron pan with my bare hands one day when I wasn't paying attention. I had lifted the pan about six inches off the surface of the stove before instinct kicked in and dropped it with a clatter. I immediately ran to the sink to cool my burned hand with cold water, which stops further damage. My palm had a red imprint from the pan handle. The burn was on my right hand, and I wondered how I could go to work with a blistered palm.
I reached for Aloe vera once again and immediately applied the gel, wondering what would happen. I felt skeptical of the results since pressing flesh to hot cast iron is like branding!
Well, I am happy to report that not only was I able to go to work the next day, but I didn't have a blister—not one! I had some tenderness, but nothing I couldn't handle.
So, get yourself an Aloe Vera plant, if you are prone to minor burns. Even if you are not prone to burns, accidents happen. What always works for me is cold water to cool the burn and laying the Aloe Vera on the unbroken skin. It prevents a painful blister and the subsequent scarring from ever happening. I have no marks to show I have ever picked up a hot cast iron frypan with my bare hands!
My Aloe Vera Plants at Various Stages of GrowthClick thumbnail to view full-size
Growing Aloe Vera
I live in North America and my Aloe vera is thriving and growing new babies at the moment. The big plant has produced eight new plants which are in various stages of growth. I find this plant requires the sunniest window to prosper. It only needs watering sparingly, no matter what the season is, but it can't be totally ignored.
My largest Aloe vera plant would probably be the best to use for burns, but it's quite gorgeous right now, so I tend to use the largest of the smaller plants pictured above.
Studies and References That Suggest Aloe Vera is Beneficial for Healing Burns
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.