Aloe vera comes from the plant of the same name, which has been used medicinally and as a home remedy for centuries. While you may be familiar with using aloe vera gel to treat sunburn, it also has other proven skin benefits.
Some anecdotal evidence reveals aloe vera benefits specific to males. However, not all of these claims have the backing of scientific evidence.
Read on to learn more about whether aloe vera has any male-specific benefits and whether theyâ€™re worth talking about with a doctor.
Benefits of aloe vera for men
Aloe vera has been used for centuries by many people. Check out some of the proven â€” and unproven â€” benefits for men specifically.
Soothes irritated facial skin after shaving
Aloe vera is primarily known for its ability to soothe burns. If you shave your face, you may consider using the gel as an aftershave to help heal or prevent razor burns.
It may also help prevent acne lesions and eczema flare-ups on your face that shaving might trigger.
Maintains genital skin health
Aloe vera gel may be gentle enough for genital skin, and thereâ€™s even evidence that it may help heal genital sores from the herpes simplex virus. However, this is typically done through prescription treatments for best results.
Can you use aloe as a lubricant during sex?
Pure aloe vera gel may be used as a safe alternative to synthetic lubricants.
However, you should make sure you and your partner perform a patch test at least 24 hours before using aloe during sex. While aloe vera is safe for most people, it may cause an allergic reaction, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Can aloe improve sperm quality?
Thereâ€™s been no evidence to prove that aloe can improve sperm quality. In fact, one 2011 study on animals showed that aloe extract had the opposite effect: It reduced sperm quality and overall fertility.
Does aloe improve testosterone levels?
Aloe has not been proven as a way to increase testosterone levels. A 2015 study on rats found the opposite effect. Testosterone levels, as well as fertility, decreased.
Can you use aloe vera for erectile dysfunction?
Some claims on the internet say that aloe vera may increase penile blood flow, but these lack evidence.
Taking aloe vera for erectile dysfunction (ED) may not be worth any potential risks. The aforementioned animal studies have shown other adverse effects on male sexual health, including decreased testosterone, sperm quality, and fertility.
Talk with your doctor about your concerns with ED and the options available to help treat it. Avoid using home remedies that havenâ€™t been proven effective.
Should you try jelqing with aloe vera?
Jelqing is a type of stretching exercise that may lengthen and thicken the penis. People who perform these types of exercises may find that aloe vera gel can act as a lube to help prevent friction and pain.
However, thereâ€™s no scientifically proven benefit to jelqing, and thereâ€™s no evidence that aloe can help stretch out the penis in any way.
Other benefits of aloe vera
While some of the claimed benefits of aloe vera for men are questionable, many benefits of using aloe have been widely established.
Here are some of the ways you can use aloe vera.
Soothes a sunburn
Drugstores sell aloe vera gel products right alongside sunscreen, and for good reason.
Aloe vera gel is known for soothing the pain and heat associated with a sunburn. It may also reduce peeling and itching as your burn heals.
Aloe vera is also used to treat other types of first- and second-degree burns, due to its wound healing properties.
Treats inflammatory skin conditions
Aloe vera gel and cream may be applied daily to your skin for the treatment of acne, dandruff, eczema, and psoriasis.
Though it may take at least a month of daily applications to see noticeable results, youâ€™ll likely experience reduced redness, itchiness, and discomfort associated with these inflammatory skin conditions.
Treats oral lichen planus
Evidence has also shown that aloe vera gel may help in the treatment of oral lichen planus. This type of inflammatory condition causes redness and white patches on the inside of your mouth.
If a doctor recommends aloe vera gel, you may need to use it twice a day for up to 8 weeks.
How to use aloe vera
Over-the-counter (OTC) products are the most convenient ways to use aloe vera for your skin care needs. However, aloe itself is available in multiple forms.
You can discuss with your doctor which is best for you. Below is a roundup of all your options.
From the plant
You can buy an aloe plant from a garden shop or aloe leaves from your grocery store if you want to use aloe in its purest form. Simply cut open the leaves and apply the gel directly to the area of concern.
If youâ€™d rather not deal with the mess of having a live aloe plant, you can easily buy OTC aloe vera gel from a drugstore. This is primarily sold in the sunscreen aisle, but you can also find it in the first aid section.
Apply the gel to your skin as often as you want or need.
Skin care products
Certain skin care products also contain aloe. These can come in gel or cream form. If you have drier skin, you may benefit more from aloe-infused creams.
You can use aloe skin care products after washing your face in the morning and at night. Apply twice a day, or as directed by the manufacturer.
Aloe vera juice is another option if you want to consume the plant orally. While the juice itself has antioxidants that may combat inflammatory conditions, it wonâ€™t treat skin burns in the same way as topical versions can.
The juice is also sometimes used to treat constipation. It has a laxative effect that may lead to diarrhea.
Aloe supplements are not proven to be effective, can have serious side effects, and are usually not recommended by doctors.
Aloe tablets and capsules are sold in natural food stores for the treatment of constipation, arthritis, and liver disease.
However, these supplements arenâ€™t typically recommended by doctors because of a high risk of side effects, such as gastrointestinal discomfort, low potassium, and possible heart issues.
Due to high amounts of latex, aloe supplements may even be fatal. Do not use them without first talking with a doctor.
Aloe vera may offer several skin care benefits for men, such as reduced razor burn, improved acne, reduced rashes, and more. It may also be used as a personal lubricant.
There isnâ€™t enough evidence to support other benefits though, and you shouldnâ€™t take aloe orally unless directed by a doctor.
Read more on: men