This study was performed to assess pain reduction in patients who were operated on for hemorrhoids, by the application of aloe vera cream. A randomized clinical trial was conducted comparing a placebo and an aloe vera cream on patients who had previously been operated for hemorrhoids. Pain and wound healing were recorded before and after the study. It was noted that those in the aloe cream group had less pain compared to the placebo group. Wound healing at the end of the study was significantly greater in the group using aloe vera cream, as compared to the placebo group.
Hemorrhoids or piles are a common disorder and the advanced stage requires surgical treatment. Different categories of medications have been used to treat postoperative pain. Many of these have had adverse effects. Therefore, a drug with a natural origin and less toxicity would be preferred for the treatment. The Aloe vera plant has fleshy leaves and the gel synthesized from it has good healing properties, especially when applied on the skin. Aloe vera is also a source of various vitamins and amino acids. It has been reported to have resistance against bacteria and fungi, along with possessing antioxidant properties. In this study, Aloe vera, which has a potential use in wound healing, has been used to check for any reduction of pain in those operated for piles.
* For this study, 49 patients with advanced stage of hemorrhoids were chosen and divided into two groups.
* The participants in one of the group applied cream containing aloe vera on the wound postoperatively, while the other group being a placebo group, applied creams without aloe vera.
* The patients used the creams for four weeks and were assessed periodically.
* Postoperative pain was reported on a visual analog scale commonly used in hospitals post-op (scored 0 to 10) by the participants of both groups.
* The pain scores of patients in both groups were similar just after the hemorrhoid surgery.
* The pain score in the aloe group 12 hours after the surgery was 5.75, whereas it was 8 in the placebo group. Two days after the surgery, the score was only 1.8 in the aloe group, but it was 5.2 in the placebo group.
* The patients who received the aloe vera cream had significantly less pain on defecation, 24 and 48 hours after the surgery.
* At two weeks post-surgery, all the wounds in the aloe group were better healed compared to the placebo group.
In this study, the effect of Aloe vera in a cream was tested on post-surgical patients operated for piles. It was observed that Aloe vera decreased generalized pain in the area as well as pain after defecation, thereby enhancing wound healing. The use of other painkillers was also reduced significantly in the aloe group. The absence of side effects shows the significance of Aloe vera in healing wounds, when compared with other medications. Inflammation causes most of the pain post-surgery and the aloe cream has an anti-inflammatory component. Thus, the beneficial roles of Aloe vera may be in its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties, and positive effects on wound healing. Aloe vera could also help in reducing the consumption of other medication, especially painkillers.
For More Information:
Effects of Aloe vera Cream on Posthemorrhoidectomy Pain and Wound Healing:Results of a Randomized, Blind, Placebo-Control Study
Publication Journal: The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, November 2010
By Fariborz Eshghi, MD; Seyed Hosseinimehr, PhD; Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran
*FYI Living Lab Reports Are Summaries of the Original Research.