Aloe Vera for Babies: Is It Safe?
Is it safe to use aloe vera on babies either as a daily moisturizer, on sunburns, or when a rash develops? As a member of the succulent plant family, Aloe Vera has been widely used as a natural treatment for skin throughout the ages. The clear, soothing gel found within the aloe plant has been applied as a soothing ointment for skin, including varying types of cuts, scrapes, wounds, burns, and rashes for at least 6,000 years.
Nevertheless, is the “plant of immortality,” as it was once known in ancient Egypt, safe for babies? It’s an important question. When it comes to applying anything on the skin of an infant with dry or irritated skin, such as diaper rash, your baby’s health and safety is no doubt your number one priority. An infant’s skin, i.e., the epidermal layer we all have, is far different than that of an adult, or even a toddler, child, or teenager. A baby’s skin develops and matures over the first 12 months. In infancy, a baby’s skin is far more permeable and reacts easily to the environment and changes as his or her epidermal barrier matures. Subsequently, an infant is far more susceptible to common skin irritation than children or adults.
USING ALOE VERA FOR DIAPER RASH
As any parent suffering sleep deprivation will attest to, diaper rash is chief among the skin conditions that will keep you and your little one up through the night. The good news is Aloe Vera is a safe, natural remedy to relieve baby’s painful rash, although as with anything you put on an infant's skin, you test on a small area prior to broader application. A National Institute of Health study showed the therapeutic effectiveness of Aloe Vera on diaper rash. No adverse effect was reported and the evidence further “suggests that topical aloe … could serve as safe and effective treatment for the treatment.”
Applying Aloe Vera gel can quickly provide nourishment, as well as cool and soothing relief for your baby’s irritated skin. At ALODERMA, we have had great success with our infants and toddlers using it a few times a day when changing diapers - to the point where our toddlers pointed to it when they were irritated and "Aloe" actually became one of their first words. As always, check on a small test section, but we found it to be extremely soothing for our newborns and toddlers.
Pure Aloe gel is over 95% water and contains antibacterial properties and soothing agents like B-sitosterol, vitamins B and C, minerals such as zinc, and skin-friendly vitamin E. In addition to diaper rash, you can use it topically for dryness, cradle cap, or any mild skin irritation your baby may be experiencing.
APPLYING ALOE TO SUNBURNED SKIN
Important: Sunburn of any severity on a baby under 1 year old should be treated as a medical emergency. Due to their sensitive skin and reduced ability to control body temperature, babies are at risk of severe dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke with prolonged exposure to sun. Take your baby to the doctor or hospital immediately if they become sunburned.
The best treatment for sunburn is preventative, and babies should always be protected from direct sun and heat as even a mild sunburn should be considered a medical emergency for an infant. Unlike adults, who usually experience nothing more than uncomfortable or painful skin irritation, a sunburn could results in dehydration or heat stroke for a baby. Dealing with these more serious aspects are paramount but once a doctor clears your baby, Aloe Vera is safe to use as a soothing and cooling agent on the infant's skin.
HOW TO USE ALOE VERA SAFELY ON INFANTS
Choose a pure form of topical Pure Aloe Vera Gel or Juice (i.e not from concentrate or powders - make sure Aloe Vera is the first ingredient and preferably organic), place a small amount of it on a finger and rub gently on the affected area(s) of your baby's skin. Let it dry completely before putting another diaper on your baby or covering up the area with clothing. You may also want to consider introducing Aloe Vera gel as a preventive measure to help keep your baby’s skin hydrated and nourished. Add Aloe Vera to your diapering routine or after bathing as you would any skin moisturizer.
IS ALOE VERA SAFE FOR USE ON A BABY'S FACE?
Aloe Vera is safe for use on any area of a baby's body, however special care should be taken when applying to the face. Be careful to avoid the eyes, mouth, nose, and ears.
CAN BABIES TAKE ALOE VERA ORALLY?
Although Aloe is quite safe as an oral supplement, it is recommended that parents consult a pediatrician before letting their baby eat or drink Aloe Vera. Infants have very sensitive digestive systems and any other medications they are taking or other parts of their diet should be considered. If your pediatrician approves, we would highly recommend consuming an Organic Aloe Vera Juice, free of chemicals and also with Aloin removed. If you are interested, we would highly recommend checking out USDA Organic Pure Aloe Vera Juice flavored with Organic Lemon Extract from our sister company, AloeCure.
HOW TO TELL WHICH ALOE VERA PRODUCTS ARE SAFE
It’s important to note if you purchase an over-the-counter cream, ointment, or any type of Aloe Vera, it may contain other additives and ingredients that may not agree with your baby, or even sting. Discount brands can be attractive in price but may contain lower quality or purity Aloe and more chemicals. Be absolutely sure that the Aloe product you get for your baby is:
- Not from concentrate - aloe should always be the first ingredient
- Organic and/or naturally farmed
- Free of irritating additives
- Sourced from a reputable company