Psoriasis is a disease that affects about 3% of adults, or 7.5 million Americans. They usually appear 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 traditional treatments recommended by dermatologists and health care providers, some have chosen natural alternatives to improve their psoriasis symptoms.
One popular alternative remedy is apple cider vinegar – touted as a healing ingredient for many health issues. This might make you wonder if apple cider vinegar can help treat psoriasis.
This article tells you if apple juice helps treat psoriasis, as well as other treatment options you may encounter.
Apple cider vinegar is 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 famous for mixing apple cider vinegar with honey to treat various ailments. It was used during the American Civil War to treat soldiers’ wounds (
Over recent years, apple cider vinegar has also risen in popularity as a natural remedy for many different health issues. For example, it is claimed to promote weight loss, target belly fat, regulate blood sugar, suppress appetite, and boost your immune system.
While apple cider vinegar contains small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, most of its health claims are unsupported by science or grossly exaggerated.
Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from fermented apple juice. Although it is believed to relieve a range of health problems, there is little research to support its use.
Apple cider vinegar may help relieve itching or irritation caused by psoriasis due to its natural antiseptic properties. It is also believed to restore the skin’s pH balance to improve your skin’s natural protective barrier (
In fact, the National Psoriasis Foundation lists ACV as a natural treatment for psoriasis symptoms (4).
Furthermore, there are many anecdotal reports online from psoriasis patients who swear by effectively rinsing the skin with apple cider vinegar several times a week (
However, most research has not found any benefits to using apple cider vinegar to treat skin conditions – including psoriasis.
In one small study of 22 patients with atopic dermatitis, researchers found no improvement in skin barrier integrity after using a 10 minute daily diluted ACV soak for 14 days. In fact, 73% of participants experienced mild irritation that subsided once they stopped using apple cider vinegar (
Another study in patients with atopic dermatitis showed no changes in the cutaneous bacterial microbiome after using apple cider vinegar for two weeks (
To date, there are no special studies on apple cider vinegar and psoriasis. Most claims about apple cider vinegar and psoriasis are based on personal experiences rather than scientific research.
If you decide to try using apple cider vinegar to relieve your psoriasis symptoms, be sure to use water diluted with water (1:1). Do not apply apple cider vinegar directly to the skin because it can cause skin burns (
Also avoid applying ACV to any open wounds or cracked skin as this can increase irritation and pain (
As always, your best option is to speak with a dermatologist or other healthcare provider before seeking medical treatments.
Despite many anecdotal reports, most research suggests that apple cider vinegar has no improvement in symptoms of psoriasis or dermatitis. Applying undiluted apple cider vinegar directly to the skin may cause skin burns.
Although there are no known treatments for psoriasis, there are many treatments available that your health care provider may recommend.
The most studied psoriasis treatments include:
- topical creams–corticosteroids, vitamin D analogs, retinoids, calcineurin inhibitors
- Phototherapy or light therapy
- Oral medications or injections – steroids, cyclosporine, methotrexate, biopharmaceuticals, oral retinoids
- Other topical products – anthralin, salicylic acid, creams and moisturizers
Working closely with your dermatologist or other health care provider will ensure that you get the right treatment for your condition.
In addition to conventional treatment, there are alternative treatments that may help relieve itching or irritation caused by psoriasis (
- Aloe vera. Aloe vera is a common skin care ingredient used to soothe burns, cuts, and skin irritation. It may help reduce irritation and provide soothing relief.
- Epsom salts or dead sea salts. Salt baths may help relieve itching and discomfort. Though, it is important to moisturize the skin after showering to prevent drying out of the skin.
- oats; Oats are a popular ingredient in skin care 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.
- Natural indigo. Indigo Naturals is a traditional Chinese medicine that may have anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve symptoms of psoriasis.
- Nutritional supplements. Supplements such as fish oil, turmeric, ginger, vitamin D, selenium, and vitamin B12 have been linked to small improvements in psoriasis symptoms. Though, high-quality research is needed.
Unfortunately, most alternative therapies have little scientific support or are based on anecdotal evidence. Therefore, there is not enough data to support these natural remedies as effective stand-alone treatments.
For this reason, it is best to opt for traditional treatments recommended by a dermatologist or other healthcare provider.
There are many conventional and alternative treatments to help improve your psoriasis symptoms. However, it is best to work closely with a dermatologist to find the best for you.
Apple cider vinegar has risen in popularity as a treatment for all different health conditions, including psoriasis.
Despite many anecdotal reports that it will treat psoriasis symptoms, little research supports these claims. In fact, it may actually worsen your psoriasis symptoms.
If you decide to try apple cider vinegar, be sure to dilute it with water in a 1:1 ratio to prevent chemical burns. As always, you may want to chat with your dermatologist before trying DIY treatments.