Aloe vera gel is widely used in the treatment of an array of disturbances, especially skin disorders. The wound-healing effects have been attributed to its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory effects as well as its beneficial effect on the maturation of collagen. The aim of the present study is to compare the effects of topically applied extracts of Aloe ferox with that of Aloe vera on the symptoms as well as IgE levels of a mouse model of atopic dermatitis (AD). Mice were sensitized and challenged with 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene and treated afterwards for 10 consecutive days with the gels of either A. ferox or A. vera applied topically to the affected areas. A placebo gel was used for the control mice. Blood was collected at the beginning and end of the treatment period to measure serum IgE levels. Although the gels of both the Aloe species inhibited the cutaneous inflammatory response as well as serum IgE levels in the rats, the extracts of A. ferox were superior to that of A. vera in reducing IgE levels. The gels of A. ferox and A. vera, applied topically, may be a safe and useful alternative to antihistamines and topical corticosteroids, for the treatment of patients suffering from recurring chronic AD.
Keywords: Aloe ferox; Aloe vera; Atopic dermatitis; Topical treatment.