Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is known around the world as one of the healthiest liquids having multiple health benefits and potential to improve body functions using raw enzymes and bacteria. Doctors from the 18th century used ACV to treat skin conditions as well as a disinfectant to heal skin irritation caused by the poison ivy rash.
Made after the fermentation of apple cider with a specific bacteria to form acidic vinegar, apple cider vinegar is often used as a preservative in many households. This concoction is particularly helpful in treating itchiness on the scalp caused by Psoriasis. Before going deep into the benefits of ACV in treating Psoriasis, let’s understand what this disease is all about.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin condition that leads to various changes in the skin causing thick, scaly, and reddened patches to appear all over the body. These patches can be itchy, dry, and sometimes painful. It can arise due to both genetic factors and the immune system. This chronic disease has no immediate cure, as of yet. Some people use home recipes to relieve symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
Different individuals show different kinds of symptoms when they have psoriasis. Some of the most popular signs and symptoms include:
- Red patches of scaly skin
- Dry, cracked skin that may or may not bleed
- Itching or burning
- Painful skin
- Thickened fingernails or toenails
Psoriasis spots can vary from few areas of scaling just like dandruff to major flaky eruptions on large areas. The outbreak of psoriasis goes through cycles, flaring for a few weeks or months, then receding for the time being or even complete reduction.
There are several types of psoriasis:
- Plaque psoriasis: The most familiar form of this disease is plaque psoriasis which causes dry, raised, red skin lesion. The plaques are itchy and painful.
- Nail psoriasis: Psoriasis can influence the fingernails and toenails, leading to pitting, abnormal nail growth, and discoloration. Psoriatic nails might release and separate from the nail bed and may cause the nail to crumble.
- Guttate psoriasis: This type of psoriasis primarily affects young children and adults and is usually triggered by bacterial infection as common as strep throat. It’s marked by small, water-drop-shaped, scaling lesions on your trunk, arms, legs, and scalp.
- Inverse psoriasis: This mainly affects the armpits, groin area, the skin under the breasts and around the genitals. This psoriasis causes smooth patches of red, inflamed skin that worsens with friction and sweating. Fungal infections may be the trigger this type of psoriasis.
- Pustular psoriasis: This is the most uncommon form of psoriasis. It can occur in huge patches (generalized pustular psoriasis) or may appear in smaller areas like on your hands, fingertips or feet. Pustular psoriasis emerges quickly and can also cause fever, chills, severe itching and diarrhea.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis: This is known as the least common type of psoriasis, it can cover your body with red, peeling rashes that itch or burn intensely.
Why ACV works on Psoriasis?
Apple cider vinegar has many antiseptic properties that can help in relieving itching and irritation from Psoriasis. It is known to make the pH levels of the body more alkaline, improving the digestive function and killing the toxins that cause viral or fungal infections. It also contains vitamins A, B1, B6, and C, and minerals like potassium and iron, and alpha-hydroxy acids which are well known to exfoliate the top layers of the skin.
There has been no direct research done to determine the effect of apple cider vinegar on psoriasis. However, those who are regular users of ACV for their psoriasis suggest that applying it directly several times a week helps a lot, and there has been a lot of improvement in their condition.
So far, there have been no severe risks in using apple cider vinegar for psoriasis. However, if the scalp is cracked and is bleeding, or if there are any open wounds, using apple cider vinegar may cause more irritation and pain. Mixing an equal amount of water with apple cider vinegar before applying it to such areas can reduce the feeling of burning and irritation.
Other benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar are:
- Supports the immune system
- Helps in digestion
- Improves the health and appearance of hair and skin
- Assists in blood sugar regulation.
- Soothes sore throat
- Heals Sunburn
- Cures hiccups
- Reduces acid reflux
- Reduces leg cramps
- Treats bad breath
Risks of using Apple Cider Vinegar for Psoriasis
Although it is safe to use Apple cider vinegar on the affected areas, there are some risks involved depending upon the skin type of the individual.
- Skin irritation and allergic reaction: ACV should not be applied to open wounds as it might irritate your skin and you can have an allergic reaction.
- Worsening of your current skin condition: Even though Apple Cider Vinegar is all natural, the acidity may cause deterioration in the situation of some people.
Ways in which you can use Apple cider vinegar for Psoriasis
- Use ACV for spot application: Make ACV compress with a washcloth and apply on the affected region like scalp. Combine one part vinegar with three parts of warm water to make the solution. If your fingernails and toenails are affected, soak them with pure ACV for 5 minutes. Use cotton balls for the application. People have reported marked improvement with a direct application on the affected areas. Do not apply if the scalp is cracked, bleeding, or if there are open wounds.
- Bathe with Apple cider vinegar: Fill your bathtub with ACV for half an hour and bathe in this solution then Shower with fresh water to rinse off odor and vinegar residue.
- Moisturize your skin with ACV: Prepare a moisturizing solution by adding 2 to 3 drops of ACV to 2 tbsp. (30 ml) of regular hand lotion. Refrain yourself from using more than a few drops, as huge quantities can dry out your skin. Do not leave for more than a few minutes.
- Consume ACV: Prepare a tincture of apple cider vinegar to drink by combining 1 tbsp. (15 ml) of ACV with one glass of water.
If you’re contemplating the use of apple cider vinegar as a treatment option for your psoriasis, you must first consult your doctor or a dermatologist since there is no concrete proof that it helps to improve your condition no matter what amount of apple cider vinegar you use.
It should also be noted that when it comes to psoriasis, what might work for one person may not work for the other. Some doctors do suggest trying natural cures along with conventional ones, but you must speak with your personal doctor first to discover the right treatment approach for you.
Contributor Bio – The blog is presented by Sharda University. Sharda University is one of the largest universities in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) offering 216 varied programmes.