Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is known for its possibility of having miraculous health benefits and abilities to beautify the skin.
The National Eczema Association acknowledges the historical use of vinegar for medicinal purposes and the resurgence of interest in ACV for various health concerns. However, it is essential to explore the available scientific evidence before considering ACV as an actual remedy for eczema.
The Lack of Scientific Evidence
While ACV enthusiasts claim numerous health benefits, including eczema relief, the scientific evidence supporting these claims is scarce. The National Eczema Association emphasizes that there is little to no concrete evidence to establish the effectiveness of ACV in treating eczema or other skin conditions.
Potential Harmful Effects
Due to its high acidity, ACV can potentially harm the soft tissues of the mouth, throat, stomach, and kidneys. Pregnant women are particularly discouraged from consuming large amounts of ACV.
Understanding Skin pH Levels and Eczema
The skin's pH level is an important factor in maintaining healthy skin. People with eczema often have elevated skin pH levels, disrupting the skin's natural acidity barrier. This alteration may lead to increased moisture loss and allow irritants to penetrate the skin, exacerbating eczema symptoms.
Additionally, elevated pH levels are associated with a breakdown in the skin's microbiota, which plays a role in protecting against harmful bacteria. Individuals with eczema may be more susceptible to staph infections due to higher levels of staph bacteria colonizing their skin.
ACV's Potential Role in Eczema Management
Given that ACV is a mild acid, some individuals with eczema believe that applying it topically may help restore their skin's natural pH level. While this theory is plausible, it is crucial to approach ACV usage cautiously and to avoid applying undiluted ACV directly to the skin, as it may cause irritation.
Practical Applications of ACV for Eczema
ACV Wet Wrap:
Mix a solution with 1 cup warm water and 1 tablespoon of ACV.
Apply the solution to gauze or clean cotton fabric strips and place it on the affected skin.
Cover the dressing with dry, clean, cotton fabric.
Wear the wet wrap for 3 hours or overnight to aid in moisturization and potential pH regulation.
Although apple cider vinegar has a long history of use for various health purposes, including eczema management, the scientific evidence to support these claims remains limited and up to more discovery. Therefore it is crucial to exercise caution and consult a healthcare professional before attempting any home remedies or alternative treatments for eczema.