Abstract Purpose To develop a new wound dressing composed of alginate and Aloe vera gel and cross-linked with zinc ions. Methods The aloe-alginate film was characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), swelling profile, mechanical properties, polysaccharide content and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Thirty Wistar rats were divided in two groups a) treated with aloe-alginate film and b) control (treated with sterile gauze). Wound contraction measurements and hystological analysis were performed on 7th, 14th and 21st days after wound surgery. Results The aloe-alginate film presented adequated mechanical resistance and malleability for application as wound dressing. There was no statistical difference in wound contraction between two groups. Histological assay demonstrated that aloe-alginate film presented anti-inflammatory activity, stimulated angiogenesis on proliferative phase and a more significant increased in collagen type I fibers and decreased type III fibers which promoted a mature scar formation when compared to control. Conclusions The aloe-alginate film showed adequate physicochemical characteristics for wound dressing applications. The in vivo assay demonstrated that aloe-alginate film enhanced the healing process of incisional skin wounds.