Objective: Treatment of large wounds is technically demanding and several attempts have been taken to improve wound healing. Aloe vera has been shown to have some beneficial roles on wound healing but its mechanism on various stages of the healing process is not clear. This study was designed to investigate the effect of topical application of A. vera on cutaneous wound healing in rats.
Methods: A rectangular 2 × 2-cm cutaneous wound was created in the dorsum back of rats. The animals were randomly divided into 3 groups of control (n = 20), low-dose (n = 20), and high-dose (n = 20) A. vera. The control and treated animals were treated daily with topical application of saline, low-dose (25 mg/mL), and high-dose (50 mg/mL) A. vera gel, up to 10 days, respectively. The wound surface, wound contraction, and epithelialization were monitored. In each group, the animals were euthanized at 10 (n = 5), 20 (n = 5), and 30 (n = 10) days post injury (DPI). At 10, 20, and 30 DPI, the skin samples were used for histopathological and biochemical investigations; and at 30 DPI, the skin samples were also subjected for biomechanical studies.
Results: Aloe vera modulated the inflammation, increased wound contraction and epithelialization, decreased scar tissue size, and increased alignment and organization of the regenerated scar tissue. A dose-dependent increase in the tissue level of dry matter, collagen, and glycosaminoglycans' content was seen in the treated lesions, compared to the controls. The treated lesions also demonstrated greater maximum load, ultimate strength, and modulus of elasticity compared to the control ones (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Topical application of A. vera improved the biochemical, morphological, and biomechanical characteristics of the healing cutaneous wounds in rats. This treatment option may be valuable in clinical practice.