Product Type: Holland and Barrett health products
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No more Itchey and Scratchy show in our house
Holland & Barrett Aloe Vera Gel
Member Name: redhead78
Holland & Barrett Aloe Vera Gel
Date: 23/02/12, updated on 23/02/12 (254 review reads)
Advantages: Can feel affects immediately, soothes and cools skin, quickly absorbed
Disadvantages: None for me (or my hubby)
To try and ease his torture I'm always on the look out for different lotions and potions and have tried MANY over the last few years. We've tried allsorts, from doctor prescribed to over the counter to supermarkets own brands via all things natural promising fantastic results. Unfortunately none of the ones we've tried have been very successful, only easing the itching for an hour or so at the most, which has been good for me as I get all the leftovers to use as body lotions, but not so good for poor hubby.
Since joining Dooyoo I've been reading reviews for various creams and lotions that have all sounded promising and a few weeks ago came across reviews for this aloe vera gel. Whilst most people from here had reviewed it as a sunburn cooling solution it sounded as though it might be worth a try in our case too. My husband also recently started on Evening Primrose Oil supplements in an attempt to combat the psoriasis internally, but the aloe vera gel sounded like it might help ease the external symptoms at the same time. As the supplements can take months for you to notice any difference I decided to get him some of this gel in an attempt to alleviate his suffering whilst he waits for the capsules to (hopefully) take affect.
I have to admit I didn't research the different brands and varieties of aloe vera gel available, I just picked up a tube of the Holland and Barrett version as I happened to be passing the store in town one day. At £5.99 for a 200ml tube I didn't think it was too badly priced, especially considering it claims to be 99.9% pure aloe vera, which is a much higher content than others I've seen since. It's also available in a 100ml tube for £3.55 (currently on at £2.55 special offer) but I knew that if it did even 10% of the cooling and soothing that it claimed to do my husband would get through a lot of it so I invested in the larger tube.
The tube itself isn't particularly exciting but to be honest, in most cases I'm not particularly bothered by packaging and in this case especially it really wasn't even a consideration. It lives under our coffee table as my husband is extremely forgetful (the other day he got off the sofa to make a coffee, went into the kitchen, was gone for a good 5 minutes and still came back without having made a coffee!) so at least if it's there in view there's more chance of him remembering to use it, or of me remembering to remind him to use it (or throw it at him violently if he starts scratching again!). Whilst it does nothing to enhance the decor of our living room, nor do I mind it being visible either, especially now that we've seen the results of using it...but more of that later and back to the tube. The fact that they've used mainly green on the packaging serves to emphasise - in my eyes at least - that it is almost totally a natural product and makes you feel better about using it...I'm particularly averse to him using chemical filled creams on his psoriasis as I don't see that they could be helping very much with all that un-naturalness and astringency.
The first time my husband used this gel, he'd just showered and applied it liberally all over the affected areas on his legs (pretty much all of his right shin and most of his left one too). It was easy to use as it had a flip-top lid so he didn't need to worry about getting the lid screwed back on again with his hands coated in gel. The gel itself doesn't really need much explanation I think, it's the consistency of a gel! And is easily squeezed out of the little hole at the bottom of the tube. It has a pleasant fragrance, slightly herbal but is in no way overpowering and it doesn't linger too long, which is no bad thing really...it smells green if you know what I mean!?! He sat back with his trouser legs rolled up to wait for it to dry, but, despite the fact he used quite a big (at least 2 x 50p piece size) dollop on each leg, he was amazed how quickly it absorbed into his skin.
He said more or less straight away that it felt really cooling on his skin and that it felt "nice" (which, believe me, is high praise!) but, as he's tried so many other things in the past he still didn't hold out much hope that it would work in the long term. How wrong he was!
I noticed pretty much immediately that he was scratching a lot less. I don't think he realises how much he does scratch at his legs as he does it automatically and subconsciously, but from my vantage point next to him I can tell you it's normally a lot! At least every few minutes on average at a guess. But once he'd applied the aloe vera gel he settled back and wasn't reaching for his legs at all. After an hour or so I asked him how his legs were feeling and he said "oh, I hadn't really thought about them, but yes they do feel quite soothed and they're not really itching". Just for him not to have been bothered by it for an hour was a miracle in itself, not just for his skin but for my state of mind...I know he can't help it, but his scratching drives me crazy!! After a few hours he said he could feel his shins starting to itch again, so he applied some more gel before bed and, again, felt the affect immediately.
He's now been using this aloe vera gel for about 3 weeks and the difference to his skin has been remarkable. No longer is he tormented by the continuous itching of before and the huge patches of red skin are no longer flakey like before. Whilst his skin is by no means cured in any way, this gel was never an attempt to cure the problem, just to ease the torment he suffered from the symptoms and it really has done that. So, although the affected areas (he's now using this gel on the patches on his back too as it worked so well on his legs) still look red, they don't look nearly so angry, he suffers hardly any itching and the flakiness has almost all gone.
Whilst I don't want to hail this gel as a miracle cure for the symptoms of psoriasis as it almost certainly won't work for all sufferers, in my husbands case it really has been a god send and has made a vast difference to his life. Although an application of the gel doesn't last a tremendously long time and he has to apply it 3 times a day, he doesn't mind this at all as it soothes his skin so much and I don't even have to remind him to use it, he does it automatically. As he uses it so often the tube has almost all gone now and we'll soon be needing to restock. Now that we know it works we'll try and be a bit cannier about when we buy it and look out for Holland and Barrett special offers and use Quidco for cashback too, so all in all it should work out to be quite an economical solution to a problem which has tormented him for a long time!
So, for me, this Holland and Barrett Aloe Vera Gel gets a huge 5 stars...now, if only they would start making a gel that would magically stop him from chewing his fingernails my life would be complete!!!
Summary: Works a treat on my husbands psoriasis tormented skin