There’s no evidence to support using apple cider vinegar for shingles pain. But other natural remedies, like oatmeal baths, may provide some relief.

If you have shingles, you may be tempted to try home remedies for pain relief.

Some people recommend putting apple cider vinegar (ACV) on your shingles rash to relieve pain. But other remedies may be more effective and safer.

This article reviews the use of ACV for shingles, whether it’s effective, any potential risks involved, and some alternatives.

Several home remedy recipes for relieving shingles pain using ACV can be found online.

Some popular options include applying ACV directly to the shingles rash, usually in combination with other ingredients like honey, or taking a bath that contains a small amount of ACV in the bathwater.

Some people believe ACV can help relieve some of the painful stinging and itching of the shingles rash and potentially help cleanse the rash and kill the herpes zoster virus that causes it.

Although some evidence suggests that ACV is antiviral, there’s no proof that it can help kill the herpes zoster virus by applying it to your skin.

In addition, no scientific evidence suggests that ACV applied topically helps relieve shingles pain or itching.

ACV may have other benefits due to its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, but no conclusive evidence supports its use for shingles.

Learn about shingles treatment and recovery.

There are some risks to using ACV, which mainly stem from improperly diluting it before applying it to your skin.

ACV is very acidic, and applying it undiluted to your skin can cause chemical burns. A chemical burn could increase your discomfort and put you at risk of developing a bacterial skin infection along with the rash.

During a shingles outbreak, the skin around the extra rash is likely extra sensitive. The acidity of ACV, even if diluted, may be harmful.

If you have shingles, working closely with a doctor for effective treatment is best.

They may recommend antiviral medications to reduce the severity of the infection or topical creams that can help you manage the pain and discomfort associated with the shingles rash.

Some other ways to manage shingles pain include:

  • using a cool compress
  • taking a lukewarm oatmeal bath
  • using calamine lotion, which is an over-the-counter lotion specifically formulated to reduce itching

There’s no strong evidence to support the use of other home remedies for shingles pain, including ACV.

Learn more about natural remedies for shingles.

Apple cider vinegar is a home remedy for shingles pain often recommended online. Although ACV has some antiviral properties, there’s no evidence to suggest that it can help relieve the pain or itching associated with the shingles rash.

You should not apply ACV directly to your shingles rash or skin, as it can cause burns.

In addition to working closely with your healthcare professional, your best options for managing shingles pain include taking oatmeal baths and applying cool compresses and calamine lotion.