How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Eczema Relief

apple-cider-vinegar-for-for-kidney-infectionDo you have red inflamed patches all over your body?

Does your skin itch especially at night?

It’s possible that you’re suffering from a skin condition known as eczema.

Eczema is quite common.

Actually, it affects up to 30 percent of the American population [1].

Don’t worry, as there are many natural remedies that you can use to alleviate this condition.

Here are the things that you’re going to learn from this article:

  • What you need to know about eczema – types, causes and symptoms
  • Properties of apple cider vinegar
  • Benefits of apple cider vinegar for people with eczema
  • Practical remedies that you can use to resolve this problem

A Basic Guide to Eczema

Eczema is a condition that’s characterized by superficial inflammation in the skin’s outer layer known as epidermis [1].

The term “eczema” is derived from the Greek word “ekzein” which means “to boil out” [1].

Generally, it is marked by skin redness, swelling, itching, oozing, crusting, and scaling [1].

There are different types of eczema, which include:

  • Allergic contact eczema – This occurs when the skin has an allergic reaction to a foreign substance which the immune system detects as harmful.
  • Contact eczema – This one is a “localized reaction” in which a certain part of the skin flares up to an allergen.
  • Dyshidriotic eczema – In this type of eczema, blisters appear on the skin of the hands and feet.
  • Neurodermatitis – The areas around the lower legs, forearms, wrists and head are covered with scaly patches.
  • Nummular eczema – This condition causes circular patches to appear on certain parts of the skin. These patches are usually scaly, itchy and crusted.
  • Seborrheic eczema – The scalp and face are commonly affected as scaly and yellow patches appear on these areas.
  • Stasis dermatitis – This type of eczema is typically due to circulatory problems. It generally causes irritation on the skin of the lower legs [1].

So what’s causing this skin condition?

Up to now, experts cannot determine what the exact cause of eczema is.

However, they believe that heredity and environmental factors can come into play [1].

If one or both of your parents have eczema, it’s more likely for you to develop this problem later on [1].

When it comes to other factors, here are some of those that can trigger the onset of this condition:

  • Irritants in skin care products, household cleaners and food products
  • Allergens such as pollen, dust mites, molds and pet dander
  • Bacteria, viruses and fungi
  • Extreme changes in weather
  • Dairy products, eggs, soy products and wheat
  • High levels of stress
  • Hormonal imbalance such as during pregnancy or menstruation
  • Malfunction in the immune system [1, 2]

As for the signs and symptoms, there are the common indicators of eczema:

  • Itching of the skin, which usually becomes worse at night
  • Patches on the skin that appear on the hands, ankles, feet, chest, neck, elbows, knees, eyelids, face and scalp
  • Swollen bumps that leak with pus or crust
  • Thick, dry, scaly skin
  • Sensitive raw skin [3]

It’s important to see a doctor if you any experience any of the following:

  • Excessive pain and inflammation of the skin
  • Difficulty in getting enough sleep
  • Impairment of daily activities
  • Skin infection
  • Impairment of vision [4]

If left untreated, eczema can lead to the following complications:

  • Asthma or hay fever
  • Chronic itching and scaly skin
  • Bacterial or viral skin infection
  • Inflammation of the eyelid
  • Irritant hand dermatitis
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and depression [5]

ALSO READ: 12 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Eczema (That’ll Actually Work)

Healthful Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is made by crushing apples, fermenting it with yeasts and sugars, and combining it with bacteria to turn it into acetic acid [6].

This vinegar is replete with essential nutrients such as vitamin B complex, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and sodium, among many others [6].

It also contains pectin, a form of dietary fiber, and several beneficial chemicals such as acetic acid and citric acid [6].

Historical records show that apple cider vinegar has been used for the following health issues:

  • Sore throat
  • Leg cramps
  • Viral infections
  • Upset stomach
  • High blood pressure
  • Sinus infections
  • Acne
  • Sunburn
  • Dandruff
  • Vaginal infections due to fungi or bacteria
  • Arthritis
  • Shingles
  • Insect bites [6]

Some of these benefits have actually been established in scientific research.

For instance, its ability to reduce blood pressure levels has been proven in a 2001 study conducted by Japanese researchers [7].

Its inhibitory effects against several bacterial strains such as Salmonella choleraesuis, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli were confirmed in an American study [8].

Researchers have also found apple cider vinegar helpful in weight loss, as it promotes faster fat reduction and calorie burning [9].

How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Work on Eczema?

There are several ways by which apple cider vinegar can relieve eczema, and these include:

  • It stimulates the body’s immune response to promote healing of skin lesions.
  • Its beta carotene promotes renewal and re-growth of skin cells.
  • It aids in the detoxification of the system which helps alleviate eczema.
  • It helps maintain proper pH balance of the skin.
  • It reduces inflammation [10, 11].
  • It fights bacterial infection [12, 13, 14].
  • It moisturizes the skin and soothes itchiness.

In a study that can be found in the Nutrition Research Journal, it was found that apple cider vinegar was highly effective in reducing inflammation in animal subjects [10].

Apple cider vinegar’s ability to combat bacterial infections caused by various bacterial strains was highlighted in several studies [12, 13, 14].

5 Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Eczema

Consider these remedies if you want to treat eczema with the use of apple cider vinegar and other natural ingredients.

#1. Using Apple Cider Vinegar and Water

It’s best to dilute apple cider vinegar in water before applying on the skin so that it does not cause irritation.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of water

Recommended Directions:

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  1. Combine apple cider vinegar and water.
  2. Use a cotton ball to spread mixture on affected areas of the skin.
  3. You can also put this mixture in a spray bottle, and spray it on your skin.
  4. Do this twice a day for one week.

#2. Make an Apple Cider Vinegar Bath

A quick way to maximize the benefits of apple cider vinegar for the skin is by pouring it in your bath water.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • Warm bath water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Pour apple cider vinegar into our bath water.
  2. Swish with your fingers to mix.
  3. Soak in the bath for 30 minutes.
  4. Repeat remedy daily until condition gets better.

#3. Consume Apple Cider Vinegar Mixture

Oral intake of apple cider vinegar can also produce anti-inflammatory effects for eczema-ridden skin.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 glass of water
  • 1 tablespoon of maple

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add apple cider vinegar to a glass of water.
  2. Stir in maple syrup to improve the taste.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Consume this mixture three times a day before each meal.

#4. Combine Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey

Honey keeps the skin moisturized, which is important for those who suffer from eczema.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 glass of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add honey and apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water.
  2. Take this in the morning before eating your breakfast.
  3. Do this procedure once a day for one month.

#5. Topically Apply Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda

Baking soda reduces the acidity on the skin, which helps in toning down eczema flare-ups.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Combine the three ingredients.
  2. Wait for the fizzing to stop.
  3. Apply on the affected parts of the body daily.
  4. Repeat process everyday until condition improves.

ALSO READ: How Effective is Apple Cider Vinegar for Ringworm Treatment?

Tips for Using Apple Cider Vinegar as Remedy

Heed these tips to make sure that you get the effects that you’re looking for.

  • Always dilute apple cider vinegar before using whether topically or orally, especially on children. Using it in pure form can irritate the skin and cause burning sensation.
  • Try to look for raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar for best results. Look for one that’s darker in color and has sediments in the bottom of the bottle.
  • Do not use apple cider vinegar orally if you suffer from peptic ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux disorder or chronic indigestion.
  • Do not use this remedy if you are pregnant, or if you are taking medications for diabetes.
  • Consult your doctor before using this natural treatment, particularly if you are suffering from any type of medical condition.

There are many benefits that you can get from apple cider vinegar.

If you have eczema, and would wish to tone down flare-ups or reduce the duration or severity of the condition, it would be a good idea to make use of this type of vinegar.

It has many benefits for the skin, most of which can help alleviate eczema breakouts.