Eczema can result in dry, cracked, and itchy patches of skin, and it may be painful or frustrating.
Finding natural, soothing treatments can be life-changing. Apple cider vinegar is one home remedy that many find effective.
The vinegar results from apple cider that has fermented. Some believe that it can heal eczema by rebalancing the skin’s acidity levels and reducing the risk of infection.
Eczema is common, affecting over 30 million Americans, for example. The term eczema usually refers to a condition in a group that includes atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and dyshidrotic eczema, among others.
In this article, we look at the scientific evidence that apple cider vinegar can help to heal eczema. We also describe how to use it and the risks.
Can apple cider vinegar help with eczema?
No high-quality research suggests that the vinegar can improve symptoms of eczema, though there are a few reasons why it could help.
According to a testimony on 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.
The many reported benefits to the skin may come down to apple cider vinegar having the following effects:
Balancing the skin’s acidity levels
Acidic substances may improve symptoms of skin disorders, including eczema, by helping to restore the skin’s acidity level. The skin is naturally acidic, which helps it to protect against bacterial infection.
A 2016 study in mice found that applying a vinegar-based cream helped to maintain the pH of the skin and inhibit the development of eczema lesions. Researchers have yet to investigate these effects in humans.
Meanwhile, authors of a study from 2017 concluded that highly alkaline, or basic, soaps and cleansers can irritate the skin and aggravate eczema.
Managing inflammation and infection
Further lines of research suggest that apple cider vinegar can reduce inflammation and infection. Applying it to the skin, therefore, may reduce eczema-related swelling and help prevent broken skin from becoming infected.
The following may help:
- Coconut oil. This anti-inflammatory moisturizer and may soothe skin and reduce symptoms.
- Omega-3 fatty acids. Taking these supplements can boost the immune system and help prevent flare-ups of eczema symptoms.
- Vitamin D. These supplements can also prevent flare-ups.
- Probiotics. Regularly taking probiotics may combat or prevent eczema.
Eczema is a common issue, and apple cider vinegar may reduce symptoms by restoring the skin’s acidity levels. Also, some people report that adding the vinegar to baths helps to reduce dryness.
However, apple cider vinegar can also cause chemical burns if it is misapplied.
Always talk to a doctor before using natural remedies, including apple cider vinegar.
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