There are two types of people in this world. Those who use apple cider vinegar (known as ACV) for salad dressings, and those who drink it and rub it onto their skin. Guess which category flakers fall into? The weird kind. To find out why apple cider vinegar and psoriasis isn’t as crazy as it sounds, read on!
I currently have two bottles in my cupboard: “Bragg”, the big daddy brand of ACV that all hippies swear by, and a random Italian brand that I picked up from my local shopkeeper Vimal for cooking with that cost $2.
You might think that I’m bonkers, but there are tonnes of people out there with psoriasis that swear by ACV. Over the centuries, it’s been used time and again to treat skin conditions – cultures as diverse as the ancient Egyptians, to the Romans, and even American used it, the latter in the 19th century, when it was used as a wound disinfectant. I’ve even read that the Victorians lathered it on as a perfume called “Vinegar de Toilette!”
It’s all about pH levels, nutrients and other bits
The first time I came across using apple cider vinegar for psoriasis was when I was researching the effects of bad diet. One popular, albeit alternative theory, is that it is caused by a “leaky gut” and candida overgrowth, which allows toxins to infiltrate the body.
This, in turn, can be down to a highly-acidic modern diet, full of processed foods and empty carbs. What ACV does for us flakers is that it reverses this by making pH levels in the body more alkaline, thus helping the digestive tract to function better, and by killing toxins as it is anti-fungal and anti-viral.
You might be thinking, “Wait a minute, isn’t it acidic!?” and that’s true, but the end products it creates while being digested turn out to be alkaline. It also includes a boat load of essential nutrients (such as Vitamins C, A, B1, B6, potassium, soim & iron for starters), and alpha hydroxy acids, which exfoliate the top layers of the skin and are now used in a lot of dermatological creams.
What do other people say?
To me knowledge there are no clinical studies out there supporting the use of ACV for psoriasis – probably because there’s no way a company could slap a label on it, patent it and sell it for a million dollars – but the anecdotal stories of it working are plenty.
Here’s what Nigel, from the UK, says on Curezone:
About 2 weeks ago I was surfing this forum when I saw several posts about ACV. Not knowing what it was, I proceeded to read the posts and finally I figured out it was apple cider vinegar…. I set out to my local grocery store and started on the treatment of 2 teaspoons mixed with honey…. 2 weeks later here I am, VERY HAPPY and giddy! The ACV treatment is working. The patches are diminishing. They are no longer rough and flaky. Instead, smooth, REGULAR, HEALTHY skin is now there (only thing that remains is a mark where the patch once was!)
This comment was left by Sreenivas, from India, on EarthClinic:
I read your comments and bought the organic ACV and the result was amazing…. I drank 1 tea spoon of ACV with 250 ml of water for about 2 weeks and I see 90% improvement. I got psoriasis in 2007 on my hands and my feet. Cracks, blisters and discharges was something I have lived with while trying all kinds of creams, tablets…. It worked like magic for me.
I also found this testimonial from a mid-50s flaker in the US:
Drank 2 teaspoons of natural ACV with 16 oz. of water each day and the red, painful, scaly condition just disappeared! This is the cloudy version of ACV with all the active nutrients. Not the clearer, grocery-store ACV. My skin was freaking me out and scary painful when acting up. And no, I would not have believed something so simple would have worked. I thought this psoriasis was going to flat out eat me alive!
This is one of the original posts that made me want to experiment with ACV, left by a guy in London!
ACV definitely works…. I was on prescription topical steroids and it just made it worse. Every time I came off the steroids the psoriasis would bounce back worse. I apply ACV at least twice daily with a sponge and bowl to affected areas and here are my observations. Day 1-3) Massive reduction in skin production & much cleaner appearance. Day 3-7) Small amount of outer shrinkage of spots of psoriasis. Week 3) Hollowing out of spots of psoriosis to form a ring of psoriosis with healthy skin on the inside Week 6) Ring breaks up into smaller spots which turn into scabs that reveal deep itchy lesions if picked at. Week 12) Lesions slowly heal and close up.
Drink it, but dilute it
Most people recommend drinking apple cider vinegar for psoriasis, and that’s how I normally take it. What I do is mix 2/3 tablespoons of ACV in a tall glass of water, normally once a day in the evenings, just before dinner in order to get those gastric juices working.
The best kind to get is organic ACV, without preservatives or any other additives. The cream of the crop is organic ACV with what is known as the “Mother”, a little tangled clot of enzymes, bacteria and living nutrients. It is created during the fermentation process and is the most nutritious thing in the whole bottle!
I’ve been drinking it for around a year, off and on, and I really like the effects. It takes around 2 weeks to see the main improvements, but I find that when I’m using it my skin doesn’t feel like a pile of wood shavings, and it’s a nice light-pinkish in colour.
Put it on your flakes
Apart from slurping it up, you can also use ACV topically. I normally do this with cotton pads or a sponge, but you can also apply it straight to the scalp or soak your hands and feet in a bowl. I’ve even heard of people with penile psoriasis dipping their bits and bobs in it, but I imagine that to sting like a Godzilla-sized jellyfish from hell.
Research shows that when used externally, it promotes blood circulation in the small capillaries of the skin, has antiseptic qualities which prevent bacteria, and regulates pH levels on the skin.
Most people I’ve spoken to apply it on their body for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing it off, but you can also leave it on overnight. You can even pour some into a bath if your psoriasis coverage is extensive.
Which ones should you use?
If you feel like trying ACV, its as easy as popping down to the store, unless you live like me in the middle of nowhere. I’ve experiments with dozens of food store ACV which I use in cooking, but stick to one main brand when it comes to psoriasis use.
If you’ve tried it, please leave a comment about your experience.