October 02, 2018 1 Comment

For the many folks who are affected by psoriasis — the fast buildup of skin cells that results in scaling and redness — slathering on steroid creams and gallons of greasy moisturizers day after day and night after night can get tiring fast. It can be especially frustrating if those products aren’t even helping your psoriasis all that much. Not to mention some of those products can make your skin thinner, which isn't a great side effect by any means. Injections can be expensive, require lots of doctors' visits, and have negative side effects.

So why not try an easy and effective all-natural way of treating psoriasis? This ingredient is something you may already have in your kitchen cupboard (or, if you’re like me, in your bathroom to use as a conditioning hair rinse): apple cider vinegar.

How ACV Helps

Apple cider vinegar may be a staple in the kitchen cabinets of salad lovers everywhere, but it has also long been used to treat skin conditions. Since the 18th century, ACV has been used to treat poison ivy and other skin issues because of its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and disinfectant properties.

You can’t treat psoriasis and other skin conditions with just any kind of apple cider vinegar, though. For both bathing and drinking, your best bet is always going to be raw, organic, unfiltered ACV. The most commonly praised brand is Bragg’s ACV, which contains the important ingredient of “the mother.”

The Topical Treatment

While treating psoriasis from the inside with apple cider vinegar is going to have the most drastic results, applying ACV topically can also help to relieve any itchiness and irritation associated with the condition. You can add 1-2 cups of ACV to your bath water once or twice per week and soak for 20-30 minutes. You can also fill a smaller tub with diluted ACV and soak only the areas that are affected, or for fingernails and toes, dip them into a small bowl of pure ACV for five minutes daily.

Adding ACV to a spray bottle (diluted, of course!) and spraying directly onto your scalp can also work wonders. Just be careful not to use ACV on your scalp until any open wounds or cracks have healed. A quick spot treatment for smaller areas: apply ACV to a cotton ball and dab it onto the affected areas. Within just a few weeks, your psoriasis may be long gone, or at the very least improved, and no longer as itchy! 

Oral Ingestion

Of course, applying ACV to your affected areas is better than many of the alternatives, but many psoriasis sufferers see the most improvement when they drink diluted ACV. Because psoriasis can stem from internal inflammation — which is why changing your diet to minimize inflammatory foods, as well as anti-inflammatory creams and steroids can help to a certain extent — it's best to treat psoriasis from the inside out.

Consuming ACV can help to fight the negative effects of a modern-day diet by lowering the pH in the body. Yes, ACV is an acid, but when digested it becomes alkaline, which we think is pretty cool! This, in turn, helps digestive functioning and kills toxins, helping to eliminate psoriasis. ACV also has a large amount of good for you nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamins B1 & B6, Vitamin C, as well as Potassium and Iron, among others. 

While the taste of straight apple cider vinegar leaves much to be desired, diluting it with water can make it more palatable, and it’s very important to do unless you want an upset stomach. Add 1-2 tablespoons of ACV to your water (or even apple juice!) once per day. Sipping from a straw is always a good idea prevent the ACV from eroding your teeth. Rinsing your mouth after consumption can also help with this. It can take up to a month to see the effects, but many people notice a difference around the two-week mark.

Other benefits of pouring some good old ACV down the hatch may be:

  • Weight loss
  • Regulating blood sugar
  • Relief from indigestion
  • Helps Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • General health and wellness (fighting off infections, some protection against heart disease, etc.)

Speaking of hearts, check out what we at SLAB Handcrafted Soap are 'ing this fall.

Other All-Natural Ways to Treat Psoriasis

There are a lot of all-natural alternative treatments for psoriasis other than ACV, but they are not always the easiest nor are they the most accessible. For example, sunlight can help with psoriasis, so if you have the luxury of soaking up some rays in September, be sure to take advantage of that while you can. However, short of moving to Arizona or another sunshine state, getting consistent UVB light therapy, or using potentially harmful tanning beds, the benefits of light for psoriasis aren’t always available year-round. This is especially true for us Oregon dwellers… although the bright side of living in Oregon is getting to visit our two SLAB Handcrafted Soap stores, especially on $5 Fridays.

Salt water is deemed helpful by those suffering from psoriasis, however, it can be quite a hassle to get ahold of. For those of y’all who don’t live near an ocean, or who don’t want to turn into a human popsicle during the cooler months, dead sea salt bath products can help. We have a Himalayan Sunset Bath Bomb that will do just the trick. Alternatively, you can buy a big bag of dead sea salt and add a generous amount to your bathwater. One thing to note though is that salt is best combined with sun to really make an impact on psoriasis. 

Another all-natural remedy for psoriasis are products with tea tree, although treating psoriasis isn’t the only thing this essential oil can do. You can read all about the benefits of tea tree oil here. If you've been on the hunt for a high-quality tea tree oil, look no further, as we sell the exact same oil we use in our soaps: Tea tree oil (on sale now!) Our Pine Tar Shampoo Soap is also a good choice for psoriasis of the scalp, and you can subscribe and save 20%.

Finally, another good for you option of treating psoriasis is cutting out alcohol, sugar, gluten, and a category of food called nightshades (which includes potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and more.) These foods can all be inflammatory towards the condition, and so eliminating them can be helpful for psoriasis sufferers. Keep in mind that a lot of these options can take a while to show their effects on psoriasis.

Other natural ways of treating psoriasis include:

  • Reducing stress
  • Acupuncture
  • Oats
  • Having small fish nibble at your skin
  • Epsom salt baths
  • Coconut and olive oil (which are ingredients in all our handcrafted soaps.) Read more about the benefits of C.O. and O.O. here.

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Spring cleaning isn't only for the home. You can spring clean your insides, even in September, and the best all-natural way to accomplish this inner cleansing is with apple cider vinegar. Just about everyone could stand to gain an improvement in health by clearing out the toxins in their bodies with apple cider vinegar, though ACV is especially beneficial to those with psoriasis. 

So, if you’re tired of dealing with patches of painful, flaky, red and rough, scaly, skin and your goal is smooth, healthy skin, give apple cider vinegar a try and be one step closer to that healthy, all-natural lifestyle. Then, take the next step and switch out some of the products that contain bad for you ingredients like triclosan, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Aren't sure what those are, or what harmful effects they can have? Read more about these harmful ingredients and why soaps handcrafted with all-natural ingredients are so much better for you.


1 Response

Debby Clark
Debby Clark

October 05, 2018

Thanks for this informed and informing article. From the first time I used SLAB SOAP, over ten years ago, I fell in love with how it makes my skin feel. Now I know the “why.”

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