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Arnica Gel and Cream for Bruises & Pain

Question:
Does arnica gel, cream, or spray reduce bruising, pain, or swelling?

Answer:
Arnica applied topically as a gel, ointment, cream, or spray has only shown modest benefit in minimizing bruising, swelling, and pain in some clinical trials and some trials have shown no benefit. Any potential benefits may depend on the concentration of arnica in the product. Be aware that allergic reactions can occur and that there are two very different types of topical arnica: Herbal arnica and homeopathic arnica, and each of these come in very different concentrations. Learn more in the full answer >>

Learn more about arnica:



Do arnica pills really work to prevent bruising? >>

See other recent and popular questions >>
COMMENTS

Aiman17137   September 3, 2018
Hi, I've been using a product called ArniCare and it's amazing. It helps with pain and swelling, at least temporarily. Curious what ConsumerLab thinks.

ConsumerLab.com   September 4, 2018
Hi Aiman - Arnicare is a homeopathic preparation, rather than an herbal preparation. It lists a combination of homeopathic ingredients and comes in a variety of forms - pills, gels, etc. See our full answer about the evidence regarding homeopathic arnica products above for topicals, or, for pills see our answer at https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/arnica-pills-for-bruising/arnica-bruises/.

ruth17071   August 16, 2018
Arnica cream, and I am talking about one called The Rub, is definitely a miracle product based on many personal experiences of my own. I can't tell u the number of times I have used it to prevent bruising when I've accidentally hit my head, etc. the thing is u have to apply it immediately. I also had my doctor apply it after facial surgery and it reduced bruising greatly.

ConsumerLab.com   August 16, 2018
Looking at the label of the product you mention, The Rub (or The Arnica Rub), it appears to be homeopathic arnica along with 7 other homeopathic ingredients. This means there is likely little actual arnica or other herbal ingredient in the product. However, listed first among its Inactive Ingredients" is "aloe vera juice" followed by "carbomer" -- a gel-forming polymer made from acrylic acid. These can feel soothing, although it is not clear whether or not aloe actually helps with wound healing. Interestingly, when we at ConsumerLab tested aloe products, we found that at least one was likely just carbomer and other synthetic compounds, with little or no aloe. The Aloe Review is found at https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/aloe_supplements_gels_drinks/aloe/.

Carol17073   August 17, 2018
I read that aloe vera, with its enzymes, glycoproteins, minerals, polysaccharides and other constituents, does indeed contribute to wound healing. It stimulates collagen production and also has a mild antimicrobial effect. In a rat study, "Aloe vera modulated the inflammation, increased wound contraction and epithelialization, decreased scar tissue size, and increased alignment and organization of the regenerated scar tissue. A dose-dependent increase in the tissue level of dry matter, collagen, and glycosaminoglycans' content was seen in the treated lesions, compared to the controls. The treated lesions also demonstrated greater maximum load, ultimate strength, and modulus of elasticity compared to the control ones (P < 0.05)." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25003428
A review of use in human wound healing:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4452276/

Carol17074   August 17, 2018
Of course these benefits depend on the substance being actual aloe vera, so thanks for your valuable product reviews!! :)


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This CL Answer initially posted on 8/12/2018.
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