Psoriasis is disease that affects around 3% of adults or 7.5 million Americans. It typically presents as painful, scaly, reddish purple or discolored patches on the skin (
While there are many treatment options for people with psoriasis, there is no known cure.
In addition to conventional treatments recommended by dermatologists and healthcare providers, some have opted for natural alternatives to improve their psoriasis symptoms.
One popular alternative remedy is apple cider vinegar — which has been touted as a cure-all ingredient for many health issues. This may have you wondering if apple cider vinegar can help with your psoriasis.
This article tells you whether apple cider helps with psoriasis, as well as other treatment options you may encounter.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a vinegar made from fermented apple juice. You may have seen it used to add flavor in salad dressings and sauces.
It has been used for thousands of years as a natural healing remedy. In fact, Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, was known for mixing ACV with honey to treat various diseases. It was 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, it’s claimed to promote weight loss, target belly fat, regulate blood sugar, suppress appetite, and boost your immune system.
While ACV contains small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, most of its health claims are unsupported by science or grossly overstated.
Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from fermented apple juice. Though it’s thought to alleviate an array of health problems, there’s little research to support its use.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) may help to alleviate itching or irritation caused by psoriasis due to its natural antiseptic properties. It’s also thought to rebalance the skin’s pH to improve your skin’s natural protective barrier (
In fact, the National Psoriasis Foundation lists ACV as a natural remedy for psoriasis symptoms (4).
Further, there are many anecdotal reports online from psoriasis patients that swear by the effectiveness of rinsing the skin with ACV a few times per week (
However, most research has found no benefits to using ACV to treat your skin conditions — including psoriasis.
In one small study of 22 patients with atopic dermatitis, researchers found no improvements in skin barrier integrity after using diluted ACV soaks for 10 minutes daily for 14 days. In fact, 73% of participants had mild irritation that subsided once they stopped using ACV (
Another study in patients with atopic dermatitis showed no changes in the skin bacterial microbiome after using ACV for 2 weeks (
To date, there are no studies 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 alleviate your psoriasis symptoms, make sure you use diluted with water (1:1 ratio). 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 provider before seeking out medical treatments.
Despite many anecdotal reports, most research suggests apple cider vinegar has no improvements on psoriasis or dermatitis symptoms. Further applying undiluted apple cider vinegar directly to the skin may lead to skin burns.
Though there are no known cures for psoriasis, there are many treatments available that may be recommended by your healthcare provider.
The most well-studied treatments for psoriasis include (
- Topical creams — corticosteroids, vitamin D analogues, retinoids, calcineurin inhibitors
- Phototherapy or light therapy
- Oral medications or injections — steroids, cyclosporine, methotrexate, biologics, oral retinoids
- Other topical products — anthralin, salicylic acid, creams, moisturizers
Working closely with your dermatologist or other healthcare provider will make sure that you’re getting the right treatment for your condition.
In addition to conventional treatment, there are alternative remedies that may help to alleviate itching or irritation caused by psoriasis (
- Aloe vera. Aloe vera is a popular skincare ingredient used to soothe your burns, cuts, and skin irritation. It may help you to reduce irritation and provide soothing relief.
- Epsom salts or Dead Sea salts. Having a salt bath may help to alleviate itching and discomfort. Though, it’s important to moisturize after your bath to prevent dry skin.
- Oats. Oats are a popular ingredient in skincare products due to their 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 to alleviate 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. Though, higher quality research is needed.
Unfortunately, most alternative remedies contain little scientific backing or rely on anecdotal evidence. Therefore, 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 providers.
There are many conventional and alternative remedies to help improve your psoriasis symptoms. However, it’s best to work closely with a dermatologist to find what will work best for you.
Apple cider vinegar has soared in popularity as a cure-all for various health conditions, including psoriasis.
Despite many anecdotal reports suggesting it will treat psoriasis symptoms, little research supports these claims. In fact, it may actually worsen your psoriasis symptoms.
If you do decide to try apple cider vinegar, make sure you dilute it with water at a 1:1 ratio to prevent chemical burns. As always, you would want 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.