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  • It's advice as old as time. If you get a sunburn, start lathering on the aloe vera.


  • And when we say, old as time, we mean it.


  • Humans have been using aloe vera medicinally for thousands of years.


  • But does the slimy gel actually have skin-healing properties?


  • Well, the research is surprisingly scarce, but it seems like it may help boost your skin's natural healing process.


  • Sunburns themselves really aren't that different than burns from a campfire, a curling iron or stepping on a George Foreman grill.


  • So studies looking at burn-healing, tend to lump them together.


  • And there is some evidence that applying the mucus innards from aloe plants, helps you heal faster after a burn.


  • A review from 2007 in the journal, Burns, found that in 127 burn victims, those who used aloe healed almost 9 days faster on average than those in control groups.

    根據 2007年《Burn》雜誌中的一篇文章,在 127 名燒傷患者中,使用蘆薈的患者,其傷口癒合速度比對照組平均快 9 天。

  • But what aloe actually does is a little less clear.


  • In general, there are three main concerns when treating burns: reducing pain, actually healing the wound and preventing infection.


  • Aloe's anti-bacterial and anti-fungal activities are well documented, so it might simply help because it keeps pesky microbes at bay.


  • But ask just about anyone who slathers on the aloe after a sunburn and they'll swear it's an analgesic, meaning that it reduces pain.


  • And that might be because it reduces inflammation. Your body's immune response that makes things like sunburns all red and painful.


  • For example, an experiment in 1993 was able to isolate an enzyme in aloe that breaks down bradykinin, an inflammatory substance linked with pain.

    舉例來說,1993 年的一項實驗從蘆薈中提取出可以分解緩激肽的酶,緩激肽為觸發痛覺的致炎因子。

  • But there's not all that much clinical research on aloe's pain-killing effects, so the jury is still out on whether they're real, or just acting as a placebo.


  • There's a bit more evidence that it boosts skin healing.


  • Studies in rats have shown that aloe extract helps new skin cells move into burned areas, so they can rebuild the damaged tissue.


  • And the gooey gel in aloe vera contains a large amount of glucomannan, a fiber comprised mostly of the sugar mannose, which stimulates the production of fibroblastic growth factor.


  • It helps stimulate the formation of collagen and new blood vessels, which speed up how quickly the skin heals.


  • That said, human studies to date are kind of flimsy.


  • A 2012 Cochrane review noted that the few trials that have been conducted aren't high quality.

    2012 年 Cochrane 的一則評論指出,少數已經完成的臨床試驗質量不高。

  • They're all small, and their results are potentially biased by things like patients or caregivers knowing that aloe is being used.


  • So it might work, or it might just be that people think it will work.


  • And when it comes to your over-the-counter sunburn gel, it might not even be the aloe itself.


  • Researchers have found that it can speed up the absorption of vitamins and drugs through the skin.


  • So if your aloe gel also contains things like Vitamin E, or some other anti-inflammatory drug, that substance gets into your skin faster.

    所以如果你的蘆薈凝膠中也含有維生素 E 或其它消炎藥,這些物質就能更快地被皮膚吸收。

  • But whether aloe works or not, I think we can all agree it's just better to avoid needing it.


  • So if you're going to spend some time in the sun this summer, maybe take steps to avoid overexposure instead of relying on aloe to soothe your beet-red skin afterwards.


  • Thanks to Joelle and Brianna Beecher for asking, and to all of our patrons who voted for this question in our poll.

    謝謝 Joelle 和 Brianna Beecher 的問題,也感謝投票支持這個問題的人。

  • If you want to ask us questions like this and help decide which of them we answer, or just get a bunch of awesome rewards you can't get anywhere else, you can head on over to


It's advice as old as time. If you get a sunburn, start lathering on the aloe vera.


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蘆薈真的能治療曬傷嗎? (Does Aloe Really Treat a Sunburn?)

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    Mahiro Kitauchi 發佈於 2023 年 01 月 25 日