Does white vinegar help with psoriasis?

Natural products and therapies


White vinegar has not been shown to help in any way with psoriasis. As a patient suffering from psoriasis, Andrew Gosse reports having used it to manage the itch caused by psoriasis, but it mostly replaced the itch with a burning sensation. It is not recommended as a treatment for psoriasis.

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Expert Answers

Dr. Ron Vender:

White vinegar or acetic acid – also known as table vinegar – has no well-studied research in medical journals to prove its efficacy in treating psoriasis. Many individuals claim to have success with this liquid, or with apple cider vinegar, as a treatment modality, however there is no proof whatsoever. There may be a cooling effect and improvement with some reduction in scaling by the mere moisture effect but water may do the same. Remember, white vinegar is 95% water. 

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Carolyn Whiskin:

The idea of using vinegar to treat infections and clean ulcerated tissue was first suggested around 400 BC. In the years that followed, a common mixture for cough included 4 parts honey to 1 part white vinegar. Topical use of vinegar can be an irritant to inflamed skin and is no longer the suggested choice for fighting skin infection or for the purpose of house disinfection. That being said, reported anecdotal evidence for psoriasis is primarily based on the use of organic apple cider vinegar rather than white vinegar. The most common formula tried uses 2 teaspoons of vinegar in a large glass of water or honey that is ingested daily. Vinegar has also been applied directly to the skin in areas of plaque and washed off within 10 minutes. There is a risk of irritation with topical application. As there are many effective and scientifically tested treatments for psoriasis, the use of vinegar should not been seen as a replacement for these treatments.  

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Andrew Gosse:

This is an interesting question for me, because I used a tremendous amount of white vinegar for years, while my psoriasis lesions were at their worst. I can say conclusively that the only relief it gave me was in helping with the itching, which allowed me to sleep. But it caused tremendous burning in place of the itch.

It might seem like a strange trade off, but it is easier mentally to tolerate burning: itching will consume your entire mind and drive you crazy. It was the only way I could get sleep for years.

Did it help lesions get smaller? No. I never noticed any topical benefit whatsoever. And I will repeat it: I used a lot of it.

I also used lemon juice. It seems that the acidity replaces itching with burning.

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