Soaks not only had no beneficial effect on skin barrier integrity, but also caused skin irritation
Among patients with atopic dermatitis, apple cider vinegar soaks did not enhance skin barrier integrity significantly, but did lead to skin irritation in most subjects, a pilot split‐arm study found.
Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) increased and pH declined immediately after the treatment, but the effects were not maintained 1 hour later, reported Lydia Luu of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and colleagues.
They said that notably, 72.7% of participants had mild side effects from apple cider vinegar with improvement after the soaks were stopped.
Further research is needed to demonstrate the true effect of apple cider vinegar in eczema, noted study co-author Richard Flowers, MD, also of the University of Virginia. “We often consider natural treatments as harmless, but our study showed that this may not necessarily be the case,” he told MedPage Today. “This highlights the importance of patients reaching out to their dermatologist or provider before undertaking home remedies for their skin, to ensure they are doing them in the safest and most evidence-based manner.”