Objective: To demonstrate the microcirculatory and wound healing effects of Aloe vera on induced second degree burn wounds in rats.
Method: A total of 48 male Wistar rats were equally divided into 4 groups as follows: sham controls, untreated burn-wound rats, those treated with once-daily application of normal saline (NSS) and those treated with once-daily application of lyophilized Aloe vera gel. The animals in each group were equally subdivided into 2 subgroups for the study of cutaneous microcirculation and wound healing on day 7 and 14 after burn. Dorsal skinfold chamber preparation and intravital fluorescence microscopic technique were performed to examine dermal microvascular changes, including arteriolar diameter, postcapillary venular permeability and leukocyte adhesion on postcapillary venules.
Results: On day 7, the vasodilation and increased postcapillary venular permeability as encountered in the untreated burn were found to be reduced significantly (p < 0.05) in both the NSS- and Aloe vera-treated groups, but to a greater extent in the latter. Leukocyte adhesion was not different among the untreated, NSS- and Aloe vera-treated groups. On day 14, vasoconstriction occurred after the wound had been left untreated. Only in the Aloe vera-treated groups, was arteriolar diameter increased up to normal condition and postcapillary venular permeability was not different from the sham controls. The amount of leukocyte adhesion was also less observed compared to the untreated and NSS- treated groups. Besides, the healing area of the Aloe vera-treated wound was better than that of the untreated and NSS- treated groups during 7 and 14 days after burn.
Conclusion: Aloe vera could exhibit the actions of both anti-inflammation and wound healing promotion when applied on a second degree burn wound.