Eczema is a common skin condition that causes itchy, dry and sore skin. There’s no cure but there are a variety of treatments available to ease uncomfortable symptoms. The main treatments, usually recommended by GPs, are emollients and topical corticosteroids, according to the NHS. But these don’t necessarily work for everyone and are not always a suitable long-term solution. Instead, you may want to try an alternative treatment which researchers believe benefit eczema – apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar has gained traction in the health world over the years as it’s believed to hold a host of health benefits.
Experts claim it can treat a variety of conditions, including obesity and diabetes.
So how can apple cider vinegar help eczema?
Your skin is acidic in order to ward off advanced of harmful bacteria, but if you have eczema your skin pH levels are elevated.
This causes the skin’s barrier not to function properly, allowing moisture to escape and irritants in.
Researchers believe that because apple cider vinegar is acidic, applying it to skin and help you skin restore its natural pH balance.
The breakdown of the skin’s protective barrier by pH levels has been demonstrated in studies such as ‘Skin pH Is the Master Switch of Kallikrein 5-Mediated Skin Barrier Destruction in a Murine Atopic Dermatitis Model’.
Apple cider vinegar is also said to have antimicrobial properties that can control bacteria which gets into the skin – this often triggers eczema.
So how can you use apple cider vinegar for eczema? Here are three methods recommended by experts at Healthline.
Put apple cider vinegar in your bath
Adding two cups of apple cider vinegar to a warm bath may help restore your skin’s natural acidity.
The site advises: “Soak for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse with cool water. Follow with a gentle, fragrance-free moisturiser.”
Apply apple cider vinegar to skin like a moisturiser
Making your own moisturiser could also help your skin’s pH balance. And once it returns to the right acidity, it will be able to retain the moisture from the moisturiser.
It instructs: “Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup of virgin coconut oil.
“Studies show that coconut oil can reduce inflammation and soothe painful skin.”
Use apple cider vinegar as a facial toner
Apple cider vinegar’s antibacterial properties can help kill bacteria on the skin and reduce the chance of infection.
It says: “Apply apple cider vinegar to a cotton round and wipe it around your face using a circular motion. Follow with a gently moisturiser.”
Researchers have also suggested natural remedies, like turmeric, can help lessen the skin condition’s symptoms.