Background: Aloe Vera is one of the endemic plants in southern Iran, which has been mentioned in the textbooks of Persian medicine since 2500 years ago. The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness and cost of Aloe Vera gel with conventional treatments in patients with chronic ulcers.
Methods: This comparative study was conducted on 60 patients with chronic ulcers (more than 3 weeks) in Al-Zahra hospital (Isfahan, Iran) in 2015. The participants were divided into two groups of 30 patients per group. In one group, we used conventional treatment plus Aloe Vera gel and in the other group, only the conventional treatment was used. In the Aloe Vera group, we used Aloe Vera gel twice a day. The patients were followed-up a week after the treatment and then monthly for 3 months.
Results: The male: female ratio was 1:1 in each group. The mean age of the Aloe Vera and control groups were 62.3±11.2 and 63.1±9.6, respectively. After three months follow-up, wound healing occurred in 28 (93.3%) patients in the Aloe Vera group and 14 (46.7%) patients in the control group (P<0.05). The overall mean time of wound healing was 31.25±11.2 and 63.2±20.4 in the Aloe Vera and control groups, respectively (P<0.05). The mean hospitalization time was 35.2±6.4 and 67.4±8.9 in the Aloe Vera and control groups, respectively (P<0.05). The average cost of Aloe Vera gel and conventional treatment per patient was $2 and $10 daily, respectively (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Aloe Vera gel is a beneficial treatment and cost effective for patients with chronic ulcers. The use of Aloe Vera gel in chronic ulcer is recommended in developing countries to lessen the financial burden.
Keywords: Chronic Disease; Therapeutics; Ulcer.