A number of alternative medicine sources tout aloe vera juice for acne. All 4 Natural Health.com recommends aloe vera for acne because of its ability to treat injured skin. It states that aloe vera gel for external use and aloe vera juice for internal use can help unclog pores, purify the blood, reduce inflammation and prevent further infection, which adds up to an effective remedy for acne.
Conventional sources such as the Mayo Clinic, however, do not list aloe vera juice as an acne remedy. The site does, however, suggest several other alternative treatments for acne.
Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera juice is made from the gel of the aloe vera plant. It has been used for thousands of years as a topical treatment for wounds, skin infections and burns. It has been the subject of extensive research in recent years for a range of medical conditions and illnesses.
The laxative powers of drinking aloe vera juice are well supported by scientific evidence, according to Mayo Clinic.com Early evidence indicates that aloe vera juice may reduce the chances of developing lung cancer, although more research is needed. Using aloe vera juice to treat Type 2 diabetes has yielded mixed results in clinical trials. Using it to treat HIV also yielded inconclusive results requiring additional human trials. Promising but limited research indicates that aloe vera may be effective in treating ulcerative colitis.
Causes of Acne
According to Mayo Clinic.com, there are a number of causes of acne. Increased production of sebum, hormones, certain medications, heredity, and bacteria can produce the types of acne--whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts--that plague teenagers and some adults.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, greasy foods and chocolate don't cause acne. Neither does dirt. But there is ongoing research into a potential link between starchy foods, such as bread, bagels and chips, and acne.
Other Alternative Treatments
A 5 percent solution of tea tree oil may be an effective treatment for mild to moderate acne, according to the Mayo Clinic. There are other treatments that may be helpful. Glycolic acid helps remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. Zinc, either in supplement form or in creams and lotions, may help the skin heal and reduce inflammation.
You should check with your doctor or health-care provider before trying an alternative remedy such as aloe vera juice for acne. Aloe vera juice may, according to some alternative medicine sources, be a helpful treatment for acne. But there are possible side effects from aloe vera juice. If you are allergic to garlic, onions, tulips, or other plants in the Lillaceae family you may be allergic to aloe vera. Drinking aloe vera has been linked to hepatitis, and drinking it for more than one year may increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
Jim Thomas has been a freelance writer since 1978. He wrote a book about professional golfers and has written magazine articles about sports, politics, legal issues, travel and business for national and Northwest publications. He received a Juris Doctor from Duke Law School and a Bachelor of Science in political science from Whitman College.