Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is used by some people to treat various skin problems, including eczema. However, many are wondering if the remedy really works.
Eczema usually refers to a condition in a group that includes atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema and others.
Eczema causes the skin to appear dry, cracked, painful, and itchy. Apple cider vinegar is one home remedy that many find effective in getting rid of the skin disease. The vinegar comes from apple cider that has undergone fermentation. Some believe that it can heal eczema by rebalancing the skin’s acidity levels and reducing the risk of infection.
There is yet no research that proves ACV can improve symptoms of eczema, though there are a few reasons why it could help.
According to a research from the National Eczema Association’s Scratch Pad, adding 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to a warm bath helps to moisturize and soothe the skin.
How does Apple cider vinegar treat Eczema?
ACV balances the acidity levels of the skin
Symptoms of eczema may improve when ACV is applied on it due to the acidic substances, by helping to restore the skin’s acidity level. The skin is acidic in nature, helping it to protect against bacterial infection.
Apple cider vinegar-based cream was applied to a mouse in a 2016 study. The cream helped to maintain the pH of the skin and deter the development of eczema lesions. Though researchers have yet to investigate these effects in humans.
Managing inflammation and infection
Apple cider vinegar can reduce inflammation and infection, according to a study. Applying it to the skin, therefore, may decrease the swelling related to eczema and help prevent broken skin from becoming infected.
Is it safe to use apple cider vinegar on eczema?
Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic. When used excessively, the vinegar can cause burns on the body. Always see a doctor before using natural remedies on sites of eczema or other skin conditions. Also, use small, diluted amounts of vinegar and to check the skin carefully for any reactions. Discontinue use and consult your doctor immediately if you experience a burning sensation or any other side effects.
READ ALSO: How to Get Rid of Eczema Naturally
How to use apple cider vinegar
People use apple cider vinegar topically to treat eczema in many ways. For example, by:
- Using it in a wet body wrap: This can be done by mixing 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of warm water. Dip some clean cotton fabric, gauze, or paper towel in the mixture and wrap this around the area affected by eczema.
- Adding it to a warm bath: Mix 2 cups of apple cider vinegar with a warm bath, soak for 15 minutes, and rinse the body in cool water.
- Applying it as a hair mask: Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup of sunflower oil. Apply it to the scalp right after a shower. The vinegar may act as a protective barrier for the skin and improve its moisture retention.
Other natural remedies for eczema
The following may help:
- Coconut oil. This contains anti-inflammatory properties and may soothe skin and reduce symptoms.
- Omega-3 fatty acids. These supplements can improve the immune system and help prevent flare-ups of eczema symptoms.
- Vitamin D. These supplements can also prevent flare-ups.
- Probiotics. Probiotics may combat or prevent eczema.