I suffer from quite bad acne, and at someone else's recommendation, I tried aloe vera, the pure plant, to soothe the acne. Before I started it, I did read a lot about it and was convinced that aloe vera would help me. It has a very good reputation for soothing, after all.
Imagine how surprised I was when the exact opposite happened — rather than noticing an improvement, my skin become very inflamed, itchy and red. Is this a pure coincidence, or could it be that the aloe is causing my skin to react this way? What should I do now?
Thanks for any answers you can give.
While it is true that aloe vera is known to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent for the skin and that it is not meant to cause these reactions, there is one group of people for whom this happens anyway: people who are allergic to aloe vera. My suspicion is that you are allergic if your skin is reacting to aloe vera by becoming red and inflamed.
Do you know if you are allergic to anything else? People who are allergic to onions and tulips are also often allergic to aloe vera.
In any case, the "what now" question is easily answered: stop using aloe vera on your skin, because it is clearly not working for you. Could you try witch hazel instead?
I agree with everyone else. It's an allergy. Aloe seems like such a benign thing to be using on your skin but if you read around, you will see that quite a few people actually have allergic reactions to aloe vera and related plants. I would immediately stop using it and what's more, also see your GP to inform him or her of what happened and to ask what else you should avoid in the future given this reaction, you know? There may even be medications that use these ingredients, that fall into the same broader category. Better safe than sorry, right?
I appreciate the comments I got here. Thanks. I have already stopped using the aloe vera and I honestly did not consider the possibility that it was an allergic reaction. Rather, I thought the aloe vera might be interacting with something else I was using, or that I was just doing something wrong. My skin is still looking inflamed and feeling itchy, but I have hopes that it will all settle down soon.
So, there's a real possibility that I am allergic and could be allergic to other things too? For what it's worth, I eat onions regularly and have never had any issues with them. I will be off to read more about this though. It is quite scary, really.
I think everyone has already concluded that you are allergic to aloe vera. Once the initial inflammation dies down, as I hope it already has since you started this thread :), you will doubtless be looking for something else to soothe your skin instead. I thought I'd give you some things to look into.
- Apple cider vinegar. Helps kill bacteria and dry your acne out. Use an equal amount of water, otherwise it will be too strong.
- A lemon and honey mask. You don't need a special formula, just some good natural honey and a bit of lemon juice. Lemon helps bleach forming acne scars as well as dry out current acne, and honey helps with skin healing.
- Two egg whites, no yolks, just whip them up and apply them to your skin. Rinse your face after it dries, thoroughly.
- Papaya pulp followed by vitamin E oil.
- Use fish oil tablets and vitamin C supplements, or better fresh citrus fruit, daily.
Hopefully you will find that some of these things work for you and that you don't end up being allergic. :)
Good luck with fighting your acne