Vinegar Baths and Eczema
Vinegar baths, referred to as ‘pickle the patient’, have been heralded as an effective method of eczema treatment in adults and children alike.
Much like bleach, vinegar has disinfectant and anti-inflammatory properties as well, but just not quite to the same degree. This means that while a vinegar bath may take a bit more time to see the same results as a bleach bath, you may be doing the skin a favour in the long run.
Vinegar is acidic, which is more beneficial to the skin than having the pH raised to an alkaline state. What vinegar does by introducing the skin to a slightly more acidic environment is help keep the skin in peak, negative bacterial fighting capacity.
The types of acid present are called acetic, malic and lactic which have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that can relieve itchiness, inflammation, skin and yeast infections and even dry skin.
Benefits of vinegar baths
The treatments that vinegar offers to the skin go further than just being antibacterial and anti-fungal. It also delivers vitamins and minerals into the skin such as vitamin B1, sulfur, petcin, sodium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, mineral salts, riboflavin, magnesium and beta-carotene which is an antioxidant that promotes new cell growth. Vinegar also contains potassium which can assist eczema by its pH balancing effects. With this combination, the body is in a better state to fight infection by giving the immune system a boost.
Which type of Vinegar?
The type of vinegar that is suggested for use in a vinegar bath is organic apple cider vinegar, or ACV, because of its higher nutrient content and higher product quality.
Another suggestion for using vinegar baths to treat eczema, or any bath when dealing with eczema or topical steroid withdrawal, is to invest in a pH tester for your bath water which you can pick up for around $20, such as this one from Amazon. The ideal pH of the vinegar bath water should be around 4.3.
With all the information online about the benefits of vinegar baths as one of many treatments for eczema, it has been tough to actually find any negative advice or contradictions.
So if you are looking for a treatment that is kind to your skin and with few or no negative side effects, an ACV bath is certainly worth considering.