Eczema is non-contagious skin inflammation.
According to a WebMD report, eczema happens for various reasons such as bacteria, emotional stress, allergen, irritants in the environment, excessive sweating, or hereditary factors.
Prescriptions medication and OTC products such as emollients and topical corticosteroids are used for treating eczema (2).
Some of the best known natural remedies for eczema are:
- Apple Cider Vinegar,
- Coconut Oil,
- Essential Oils,
- Sea Spray,
- Fermented Cod Liver Oil,
- Magnesium Baths,
- Additional Gelatin-Rich Foods,
- ACV and baking soda,
- Homemade Healing Salve.
In this article, we are going to analyze the effectiveness of using apple cider vinegar for eczema.
Effectiveness Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Eczema
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is considered to be an effective natural remedy for eczema because of the antifungal and antibacterial properties in it.
ACV is also known for healing several other health issues affecting skin, hair, and digestion.
Beta-carotene in ACV is expected to destroy free radicals, delay aging, and regenerate skin cells (4).
Contrary to the claims, ACV has a very little amount of beta-carotene contained in it to affect the healing of eczema.
There is NO scientific evidence to back the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar for managing eczema.
Here are some of the other expected benefits of using ACV for treating eczema:
- ACV contains several essential vitamins and minerals (such as riboflavin, mineral salts, vitamins, enzymes, pectin, and minerals) useful for healing and repairing the inflamed skin and boosting the immune system (5).
- Traces of beta-carotene contained in ACV may help repair and boost the growth of damaged skin cells.
- ACV has anti-inflammatory properties that heal and soothe irritated skin (6).
- It helps balance pH levels of the skin to prevent dryness, itching, and scaling of the skin.
- Detoxifying properties in ACV helps to detoxify and cleanse the body and make the skin healthy.
- Potassium in ACV is useful for preventing allergenic conditions that may cause eczema (7).
- ACV has astringent properties that can cleanse the skin of foreign bodies that aggravate inflammation caused by eczema (8).
- The fiber content in ACV helps flush out toxins from the body; this makes the skin healthy.
The effectiveness of the ACV in treating eczema varies according to the quality of the vinegar you are using.
It is important to choose raw, organic, and unfiltered apple cider vinegar that contains Mother (tiny floating strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria) for treating eczema.
How to use Apple Cider Vinegar for Eczema?
Apple cider vinegar may provide relief from eczema.
ACV is not a stand-alone treatment for eczema though it may help reduce a few symptoms of the disease.
Let us now look at some of the best ways to make use of ACV for treating eczema.
1. Applying ACV Locally
If you have eczema on the scalp, face, neck or hands apply diluted ACV on the affected area with a cotton ball.
Make sure to dilute the ACV with distilled water in a 1:1 ratio and acidity should not exceed 5%.
You can rinse off the applied ACV after 30 minutes.
Repeat the treatment twice a day until the inflammation gets healed.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar Bath For Eczema
Fill the bathtub with warm water and add two cups of apple cider vinegar to it.
Soak your body, especially eczema affected areas, for 20 minutes in the bathtub.
After the ACV bath, apply moisturizer on the skin to avoid irritation and dryness.
ACV bath is suitable for treating wide-spread eczema on legs, hands, and back of the body.
It is effective for getting relief from scaling and itching caused by eczema.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar with Baking Soda For Eczema
Baking soda is excellent for exfoliation of the skin.
Skin bleaching with baking soda is done to get rid of dead skin cells and scaling. This also helps in deep-pores-cleansing of the skin.
According to some research reports, baking soda bleach may aid in reducing rashes and inflammation caused by eczema.
If you are using baking soda bleach for eczema, this should not be done more than once a week and perform only mild bleaching.
Using an excessive amount of baking soda on eczema affected areas can produce counterproductive results.
Ingesting ACV and baking soda blended drink may be useful for balancing pH levels in the body to promote faster healing of inflammation.
Make a mixture of 2 tablespoons of organic ACV and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda. Dilute this mixture with ½ a cup water with a tablespoon of honey added to the solution.
After stirring well, drink this oral solution once a day for the faster healing of eczema.
4. Consume Apple Cider Supplements
Intake of apple cider vinegar supplements helps heal eczema from within.
Some of the vitamins and minerals present in ACV are beneficial for boosting the immune system and curing of eczema.
You can daily drink 2 tablespoons of organic ACV diluted in 1 cup of tepid water. You may also add a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup to the drink.
Instead of the raw ACV drink, you can also use apple cider supplements available as pills, capsules, or tonics.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo For Scalp Eczema
Using ACV for washing your scalp and hair can help in getting relief from the symptoms of eczema on the scalp.
ACV can efficiently be used for cleansing and detoxifying the scalp.
This also aids in removing excess dead skin buildup on the scalp caused by eczema or other skin inflammation on the scalp.
It is easy and convenient to use the ACV shampoo for washing your hair and scalp.
If you do not want to use ACV shampoo, you can prepare an ACV solution at home for washing the hair and scalp.
Take 1 cup of water and add to it a ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar.
Transfer the well-blended mixture of ACV and water into an empty spray bottle and squirt the solution on eczema affected area on the scalp.
Then gently massage the affected area for few minutes to allow the ACV to spread and penetrate into eczema affected region on the scalp.
After 20 minutes you can rinse off the ACV solution from your hair and scalp.
Repeat the treatment once a day until the inflammation caused by eczema is healed.
Tips on Using ACV Safely and Effectively
Using ACV with excess acid can cause skin irritations and burns.
Reckless use of vinegar can produce counterproductive results than expected benefits.
Here are a few tips and precautions worth knowing:
- Dilute ACV with distilled water before use; the vinegar ratio in that mix should be a minimum of 50% of which 5% acid vinegar / 50% water.
- After dabbing or ACV bath moisturize the skin with a natural moisturizer to avoid dryness and irritation.
- Never use harsh dyes, shampoos, soaps or deodorants on eczema affected area.
- ACV may not be safe for pregnant women and nursing mothers.
- Avoid using ACV if you have any chronic health issues or skin disease.
- Ingesting vinegar is not recommended if you are experiencing indigestion, heartburn, or a stomach ulcer.
- ACV should not come in contact with your teeth while drinking it; the acid in ACV can erode the enamel of teeth.
- If you are under medication, do not ingest ACV as it can interact with certain medications.
- Clean eczema affected area before dabbing ACV on eczema affected area.
- Make adequate changes in your lifestyle for dealing with eczema.
- Have diets that boost your immune system and accelerate the healing of eczema.
What Do The Critics Say?
A research report published in the Journal Of Food Science points out a few factors that make ACV beneficial for health. The medicinal potency of ACV springs from the inherent bioactive components such as catechin, gallic acid, acetic acid, flavonoid, and beta-carotene (9).
Because of these therapeutic properties, ACV works as an antioxidant, anti-diabetic, antimicrobial, antitumor, anti-obesity, and antihypertensive solution.
This vinegar is useful for treating several common issues that affect hair and skin.
However, there is no scientific proof to support the claim that ACV can get rid of skin irritation and inflammation caused by eczema.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Database, apple cider vinegar contains no measurable thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, pantothenic acid, beta-carotene, or folate (10).
American Academy of Dermatology spokesman Dr. Michael Lin, director of the Advanced Dermatology and Skin Cancer Institute in Beverly Hills, gives a negative perspective to apple cider vinegar home remedies for warts, eczema, and other types of skin infections.
Dr. Lin states the examples of some of his patients harmed by ACV; patients getting burned skin and permanent scarring after using this vinegar for treating genital warts (11).
According to Dr. Lin, the side effects of ACV probably arise from a high strength of acid contained in a particular brand of vinegar that the patient is using.
It may be better to use distilled white vinegar for treating eczema and warts, as it is created to a standardized formulation of 5% acidity.
Is Antifungal Properties Effective For Eczema?
Some of the studies have proved the existence of antifungal properties in ACV which may help fight fungal infections like Candida.
Researchers do not advocate the use of ACV for fungal infection on the skin or the type of eczema caused by a fungal attack.
The Bottom Line
Does apple cider vinegar for eczema effectively work?
We just can’t just profess a 100% guarantee on its effectiveness.
It may not completely heal eczema, but it can provide a good bit of relief from the irritation and itches caused by skin inflammation.
ACV has many health benefits for sure.
However, there is no proven scientific backing to support the popular claims on the effectiveness of ACV in treating eczema.
Apple cider vinegar bath for eczema may produce a significant amount of relief from the irritating symptoms of this skin disease.
It is always safe and effective to use prescription medicines for severe forms of eczema.
Apple cider vinegar for treating eczema could be used as a supplementary addition to the mainstream treatment.