Though apple cider vinegar (ACV) contains some nutrients and antioxidants, there isn’t enough evidence of its benefits for conditions like psoriasis. If you do decide to use it, be sure to dilute it with equal parts water to prevent skin irritation.

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Photography by Aya Brackett

Psoriasis is a disease that affects around 3% of adults in the United States, which is more than 7.5 million people.

On light skin, it typically involves painful, scaly, pink, reddish-purple, or discolored patches with silvery-white scales. On dark skin, it may involve purple patches with gray scales or take on a dark brown hue.

While many treatment options are available for people with psoriasis, experts have not yet found a cure.

In addition to conventional treatments recommended by dermatologists and healthcare professionals, some people have opted to try natural alternatives to reduce their psoriasis symptoms.

One popular alternative remedy is apple cider vinegar (ACV) — which has been touted as a cure-all ingredient for many health issues. This may have you wondering whether ACV can help with your psoriasis.

This article tells you whether ACV helps with psoriasis, as well as other treatment options you may encounter.

ACV is a vinegar made from fermented apple juice. You may have seen it used to add flavor to salad dressings and sauces.

It has been used for thousands of years as a natural healing remedy. In fact, Hippocrates, referred to as the father of medicine, was known for mixing ACV with honey to treat various diseases. ACV was also used during the U.S. Civil War to treat soldiers’ wounds.

Over recent years, ACV has also soared in popularity as a natural remedy for many different health issues. For instance, some people claim it can promote weight loss, target belly fat, regulate blood sugar, suppress appetite, and boost your immune system.

ACV is thought to ease itching or irritation caused by psoriasis and improve your skin’s natural protective barrier

In fact, the National Psoriasis Foundation lists ACV as a natural remedy for psoriasis symptoms.

Plus, in many anecdotal reports online, people with psoriasis promote the effectiveness of rinsing the skin with ACV a few times per week.

Yet most scientific research has found no benefits to using ACV to treat skin conditions.

In a small 2019 study of 22 people with atopic dermatitis, researchers found no improvements in skin barrier integrity after participants used diluted ACV soaks for 10 minutes daily for 14 days. In fact, 73% of participants had mild irritation that went away once they stopped using ACV.

Another 2021 study in people with atopic dermatitis showed no changes in the skin bacterial microbiome after using ACV for 2 weeks.

To date, no studies focus specifically on ACV and psoriasis. Most claims about ACV and psoriasis are based on personal experiences rather than scientific research.

If you do decide to try using ACV to ease your psoriasis symptoms, follow these tips:

  • Add it to a bath: Add 2 cups of ACV to a lukewarm bath and soak for 15–20 minutes. Rinse with cool water and moisturize with a gentle, fragrance-free product.
  • Make a wet wrap: Mix 1 cup of warm water with 1 tablespoon of ACV. Apply it to a gauze or clean cotton fabric and place it on the skin. Cover with dry, clean fabric. Wear for 3 hours or overnight.
  • Always dilute: Make sure you always dilute it with water (1:1 ratio).
  • Avoid direct skin contact: Do not apply ACV directly to the skin, as it can lead to skin burns. Also, avoid applying ACV to any open wounds or cracked skin, as this may lead to increased irritation and pain

As always, your best option is to speak with your dermatologist or other healthcare professional before seeking out medical treatments.

Though there are no known cures for psoriasis, a healthcare professional may recommend many treatments you can try.

Conventional treatments

The most well-studied treatments for psoriasis include:

  • topical creams, such as corticosteroids, vitamin D analogs, retinoids, or calcineurin inhibitors
  • phototherapy or light therapy
  • oral medications or injections like steroids, cyclosporine, methotrexate, biologics, or oral retinoids
  • other topical products, including anthralin, salicylic acid, creams, or moisturizers

Working closely with your dermatologist or other healthcare professional will make sure that you’re getting the right treatment for your condition.

Alternative remedies

In addition to conventional treatment, alternative remedies may help ease itching or irritation caused by psoriasis, including:

  • Aloe vera: Aloe vera is a popular skin care ingredient to soothe burns, cuts, and skin irritation. It may help you reduce irritation and provide soothing relief.
  • Epsom salts or Dead Sea salts: Having a salt bath may help to reduce itching and discomfort. It’s important to moisturize after your bath to prevent dry skin.
  • Oats: Oats are a popular ingredient in skin care products due to their skin-soothing properties. You’ll often find them in skin creams and moisturizers or even in bath soaks.
  • Oregon grape cream (10% mahonia): The main active ingredient, berberine, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown in some small studies to significantly improve psoriasis symptoms
  • Indigo naturalis: Indigo naturalis is a traditional Chinese medicine that may have anti-inflammatory properties that help ease psoriasis symptoms.
  • Dietary supplements: Supplements such as fish oil, turmeric, ginger, vitamin D, selenium, and vitamin B12 have been linked to minor improvements in psoriasis symptoms. Higher quality research is needed, though.

It’s important to note that most alternative remedies contain little scientific backing or rely on anecdotal evidence. There isn’t enough data to support these natural remedies as effective stand-alone treatments.

For this reason, it’s best to opt for conventional treatments recommended by your dermatologist or other healthcare professional.

What clears plaque psoriasis?

Treatments for plaque psoriasis include topical steroids or other nonsteroidal topical medications such as salicylic acid or coal tar. If over-the-counter products are not enough to manage your symptoms, a doctor may recommend effective prescription-strength options. Other treatments include systemic and biologic medications, as well as phototherapy.

Which drink is best for psoriasis?

Coffee is a good beverage when you have psoriasis because it contains antioxidants known as phenolic acids, which can have anti-inflammatory properties. These substances may help reduce flare-ups. At the same time, it’s a good idea to avoid sweetened drinks and limit drinking alcohol, as these can trigger flare-ups.

ACV has soared in popularity as a cure-all for various health conditions, including psoriasis.

Despite many anecdotal reports suggesting ACV will treat psoriasis symptoms, little research supports these claims. In fact, it may actually worsen your psoriasis symptoms.

If you do decide to try ACV, make sure you dilute it with water at a 1:1 ratio to prevent chemical burns. As always, it’s helpful to chat with your dermatologist before trying DIY treatments.

Just one thing

Try this today: Book an appointment with a dermatologist or other qualified healthcare professional to receive personalized recommendations for treating your psoriasis.

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