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The Magic of Aloe Vera as a Treatment for Minor Burns

I always have an Aloe vera plant growing in my house. Below are my first-hand experiences using Aloe vera to help treat contact 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.

My second generation Aloe Vera plant.

My second generation Aloe Vera plant.

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!

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.


Maggie Griess (author) from Ontario, Canada on June 19, 2012:

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Thank you NP.QUEEN. The aloe Vera is a valuable plant, besides being interesting to look at!

NP.QUEEN from Dubai on June 10, 2012:

Very informative and interesting article. Thanks for sharing.

Maggie Griess (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 24, 2012:

Hi aansh, The aloe vera works right away.(on unbroken skin)

If it isn't working for you; you should be seeing a doctor.

Your burn sounds like it is more serious and needs medical attention.

Aloe vera works if the skin is intact (unbroken)...a minor burn before it blisters; anything else needs doctor's care. Please see a doctor!

aansh on March 24, 2012:

its my second day of using aloe vera,hope it gives better result in future.

Maggie Griess (author) from Ontario, Canada on February 12, 2012:

Hi freelanceauthor1 Thanks for the vote! Care for those Aloe Veras...they can be pretty useful when you accidentally get a burn. They are absolutely the best remedy I have ever used on burns!

freelanceauthor on February 12, 2012:

Great tips here. I have some in my garden. Now I know their uses. Thanks. Voted up

Maggie Griess (author) from Ontario, Canada on February 01, 2012:

Hi Dim Flaxenwick! you absolutely can grow it in northern climates, but only inside! Possibly outside when it is summer, but I have not tried...probably the rabbits,groundhogs, etc. would do it in!

It does need a well-lit window but not necessarily a hot environment. The temperature in the room where this plant grows is sometimes 65 degrees fahrenheit, which is way below room temperature! It is thriving and currently has two babies!

So give it a go and don't give uo, just move it around if it looks unhappy until you find the right location in your place!

Good luck!

Dim Flaxenwick from Great Britain on February 01, 2012:

This was a brilliant read for me. Thank you so much. I had an enormous Aloe vera plant in my garden when I lived in a warm climate. It was constantly a saviour for people who didn´t realise how hot the sun beacame on our terrace.

Since moving to a cold country I thought I would have to forget about a plant like that, but I notice you live in Canada.????Does it need to be indoors? I´d love to have one again. Thanks again for a helpful and interesting hub.

Maggie Griess (author) from Ontario, Canada on January 30, 2012:

Hi Sherry! I did not know that use for aloe. The hot spots on dogs can get pretty irritated. Thanks for the comment. I always appreciate them! Cheers!

Sherry Duffy from Here. There. Everywhere. Currently: Portland, OR on January 30, 2012:

I love aloe and all of it's healing properties. I use it on my pup when she gets hot spots. It is also a great detox juice!

Maggie Griess (author) from Ontario, Canada on January 22, 2012:

Hi Breakfastpop! I love your anecdote! Husbands are in a nice way though!

The results of Aloe Vera on burns are amazing as you said. I can never quite believe that it can prevent a blister, but it always does exactly that!

Thanks for commenting! Cheers!

breakfastpop on January 22, 2012:

I have used aloe on burns and the results have been amazing. I try to keep an aloe plant in my kitchen. Here's a funny anecdote. I burned myself and asked my husband to cut me a piece of aloe. He ran into the family room with a scissor and snipped a plant leaf to bring to me. Although I appreciated the effort, he had snipped a silk plant!

Maggie Griess (author) from Ontario, Canada on January 21, 2012:

Hi Alicia! I have tried an Aloe Gel that is commercially produced by a company called Best Beauty Lines. I have no idea if it is still being produced. The product is claimed to be 100% natural( no ingredient list on the bottle). I keep it around in case something happens to my plants and I am without.

I do feel the fresh leaf juice has some active ingredients that just would not work once removed from the plant for any length of time...but I have no evidence to back that up...just my opinion!

I appreciate your comments. Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 21, 2012:

Thank you for a very useful and interesting hub, and for all the precautions too. I've used Aloe Vera before, being careful to get the purest preparation that I could find. It's been helpful, but I'm sure that fresh juice from an Aloe Vera plant would work better, especially after reading about your interesting experiences.

Maggie Griess (author) from Ontario, Canada on January 21, 2012:

Hi Reene! I wish I had known about Aloe Vera when I was a teenager!

I appreciate hearing about this use and I am sure teenagers out there who read this would be grateful for a natural remedy to give them relief... and it is so inexpensive! Just be sure to check a small hidden area with just a little juice for allergies!

Thanks again Reene! Cheers!

Maggie Griess (author) from Ontario, Canada on January 21, 2012:

Hi Theastrology! I have read that Aloe Vera was used in Eygpt in ancient times as well. The fact that it was used in India,also, points to the fact this plant has so much potential!

Ayurvedic medicine has much to offer in terms of many ancient remedies used throughout the ages.

Thank you so much for your kind comments! Cheers!

theastrology from New Delhi on January 20, 2012:

In India, Aloe Vera has been used from Ancient times. Also Nowadays, It is used in so many ayurvedic medicines and cosmetics.

By the way very good hub, also very interesting.!!

Maggie Griess (author) from Ontario, Canada on January 20, 2012:

Hi kehussy! Thanks for commenting. It is great to get verification from others who also have benefited by using an Aloe Vera. Thanks again! Cheers!

kehussy from Houston, Texas, USA on January 20, 2012:

My wife has been using Aloe Vera for a long time and I can agree with the many benefits that this plant has.

Maggie Griess (author) from Ontario, Canada on January 20, 2012:

Hi peramore! Yes, I was so relieved when my husband's foot burn didn't blister because I used the Aloe Vera to treat it. I have always had a plant since that day!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Cheers!

Maggie Griess (author) from Ontario, Canada on January 20, 2012:

Hi arusho, as long as you are not allergic and it sounds like your husband isn't, it is a great plant. The best part is the new shoots for starting new you can use the bigger plants for burns and have new plants to replace the ones you have used for burns!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Cheers!

peramore20 from Greensburg, PA on January 20, 2012:

I always grow at least one aloe vera plant. I find it comes in quite handy when you have a cut or a burn. I'm glad to hear how much it helped your husband. I used to be a med. tech and I took care of diabetics, so I know how severe a foot injury can be. Good hub, by the way!

arusho from University Place, Wa. on January 20, 2012:

Great information. My husband used the plant when he was a kid and got sunburns. I will have to get an Aloe Vera for my house. Great hub!

Maggie Griess (author) from Ontario, Canada on January 20, 2012:

Hi Kristen! Thank you for your comments. I would not be without the Aloe Vera. I also like the pure gel from the leaves over any commercial preparation. Even the pure gel in a commercial product has alcohol.

Thank you for stopping by. Cheers!

Kristen Haynie from Scotia, CA on January 20, 2012:

I always, ALWAYS use Aloe Vera to treat my sunburns. Nothing else seems to work quite as well as pure Aloe does. This is a great hub!

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