Topical and oral applications of Aloe vera improve healing of deep second-degree burns in rats via modulation of growth factors

Biomarkers. 2022 Sep;27(6):608-617. doi: 10.1080/1354750X.2022.2085800. Epub 2022 Jun 29.


Introduction: Burn injuries are underappreciated injuries that cause significant morbidity and mortality. Burn injuries, especially severe burns, trigger immunological and inflammatory responses, metabolic abnormalities, and distributive shock, all of which can be extended to multiple organ failures. Aloe vera (A. vera) has been exploited for its medicinal properties for centuries. The goal of the present study is to examine the therapeutic effect of topical and oral administration of A. vera against deep second-degree burn in rats.

Materials and methods: skin burn was created on the back of rats, and wound healing was assessed within the three examined groups; control, topical A. vera and oral A. vera throughout 30 days. Wound tissues were examined histologically, immunohistochemically for the expression of transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1), peroxiredoxin (Prdx6), and mRNA abundance of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) was assessed.

Results: Our finding showed acceleration of wound contraction with both topical and oral A. vera administration. Maturation of granulation tissues was seen in both A. vera-supplemented groups. The topical application of A. vera revealed marked remodelling of the granulation tissues and higher expression levels of TGF-β1, VEGF, bFGF, and Prdx6 in comparison with control and oral A. vera groups (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Both oral and topical applications of A. vera have beneficial effects in deep second-degree burn wound healing by boosting the growth factors and antioxidant status of skin tissue. The topical treatment was more efficient in accelerating wound healing and hence could be used efficiently to treat second-degree burns.

Keywords: Aloe vera; Second degree burn; TGF-β1; growth factors; healing.

MeSH terms

  • Aloe*
  • Animals
  • Burns* / drug therapy
  • Burns* / pathology
  • Rats
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / pharmacology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / therapeutic use
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / genetics
  • Wound Healing / physiology


  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A