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Apple Cider Vinegar For Seborrheic Dermatitis & Dandruff: Does It Work?

Apple Cider Vinegar For Seborrheic Dermatitis & Dandruff: Does It Work?

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most well-known natural remedies used to treat seborrheic dermatitis and its pesky cousin, dandruff.

Unsurprisingly, there are numerous reports of people who have utilized diluted apple cider vinegar on their scalp, face, and body to successfully combat both these skin conditions. If you've struggled with seborrheic dermatitis for a while, any frustration, disappointment, and exasperation intertwined with finding an effective remedy are understandable.

And while a cure for seborrheic dermatitis has yet to be concocted, there is a wide range of home remedies, such as MCT oil, sea salt, and apple cider vinegar, that people have trialed and tested in their search for relief.

Upon hearing their success stories, you may have considered utilizing apple cider vinegar to combat dandruff or treat eczema symptoms. This article will discuss the benefits and risks of using topical apple cider vinegar in treating seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. 

What Does Seborrheic Dermatitis & Dandruff Look Like?

Both seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff are prevalent skin conditions that share some features and respond to similar treatment. But what differentiates both these conditions? 

Well, they differ in terms of severity and location.

Firstly, dandruff only affects the scalp, whereas seborrheic dermatitis can affect the scalp, face, chest, and behind ears. Seborrheic dermatitis usually manifests at areas of the body that are rich in a naturally-produced oil called sebum. [1]

As you may already know, dandruff commonly presents as white flakes of dry skin cells on your scalp, which can lead to an itchy scalp. On the other hand, seborrheic dermatitis is often more severe, and its symptoms revolve around having flaky, visibly inflamed, aggravated, or sensitive skin. [12] Untreated and severe seborrheic dermatitis may even lead to hair loss or a secondary bacterial infection.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Treat Dandruff & Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Unfortunately, there have yet to be rigorous clinical trials or studies conducted to thoroughly study the effect of apple cider vinegar on either of these conditions. However, numerous personal reports and success stories have suggested that this natural remedy could actually work.

Both dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis are thought to be associated with the rapid overgrowth or proliferation of the Malassezia fungal species. Seborrheic dermatitis is also classified as a chronic inflammatory skin condition. [3]

Hence, apple cider vinegar's antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties may prove useful in tackling either skin condition, but the highlight is still its antifungal activity. In fact, one study has shown that diluted lemon juice and apple cider vinegar show positive effects in inhibiting the growth of the Malassezia fungus on the scalp. [4]

Additionally, acetic acid makes up 5-6% of apple cider vinegar, and hence, it is classified as a weak acid. An acidic barrier protects healthy skin, and therefore, researchers have theorized that apple cider vinegar could restore the optimal pH level of the skin and improve its barrier function. [5] Nevertheless, a study showed that apple cider vinegar soaks failed to enhance skin integrity in patients with atopic dermatitis. [6]

In short, science hasn't confirmed that this natural remedy could combat flaky skin, dandruff symptoms, or scalp conditions in general. But you may still wish to give it a go based on anecdotal evidence.

How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar As Seborrheic Dermatitis & Dandruff Treatment

There are several ways you can use this natural remedy. Firstly, it is essential that you dilute the apple cider vinegar before applying it topically to any part of your body, as there have been reports of it causing a chemical burn. 

Unfortunately, using an undiluted formulation may not be more effective. Instead, it may increase the chances of you experiencing an unpleasant burning sensation upon application, skin irritation, skin discomfort, or even a minor erosion of the skin. [7]

Additionally, you should perform a skin patch test to ensure you're not allergic to any new topical treatment you'll be using on your skin. Once you've conducted a simple skin patch test with the diluted ACV solution and ascertained you're not allergic to it, you're good to go.

People who have utilized this treatment method to combat seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff usually use a ratio of one part vinegar to four parts water.

Some people transfer the mixture into a spray bottle. While taking a shower, they would spray it into their hair and scalp, leaving it on for a few minutes before rinsing it off. Alternatively, you could remove the spray bottle from the equation and apply the mixture directly to your scalp. Some folks also pair this up with an antifungal or anti-dandruff shampoo.

In addition to that, ensure that any hair products you use do not contain coconut oil, as this may feed the Malassezia fungus on the scalp and possibly aggravate your condition.

Another method that some people have utilized involves using a cotton bud to apply the diluted formulation directly on the affected area. You can leave it on for a few minutes before washing it off.

There's no surefire method or way to use apple cider vinegar. Ultimately, you may need to do a little experimentation to figure out the best combination and solution for your skin. In all circumstances, avoid using undiluted apple cider vinegar directly on your skin to prevent any beauty mishaps or injury to the skin.

Other Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Hair

Once again, the benefits of apple cider vinegar for hair have yet to be confirmed by research. In addition to that, there isn't much research to support its efficacy in stimulating hair growth, either.

However, it could serve as a clarifying hair rinse that rids your scalp and hair of product residue and buildup. In fact, styling and hair care products can clog follicles and aggravate dandruff.

Final Takeaway

Apple cider vinegar is not scientifically proven to be effective for seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff. Nonetheless, it is not unusual to hear personal accounts and reports of its ability to provide relief and combat symptoms.

While there isn't a cure for seborrheic dermatitis, we have something for you that might help.

The Calming Seborrheic Serum is an all-in-one serum crafted with care, especially for those waging war with symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. Pesky flakes, itchy scalps, and persistently red skin—we understand your struggle. Why? Well, because we've been there, too.

This serum helps to lessen flakes, diminish skin irritation, and reduce redness, providing relief for the scalp, skin, and body. You won't have to worry about any burning sensation, as this serum effectively clears off the Malassezia fungus while remaining gentle and comforting to the skin. Plus, if we don't wow you with the results, send us an email, and we'll give you a full refund! 

We would be honored to be part of your journey towards recovery. 

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Calming Seborrheic Serum

This all-in-one serum clears away malassezia fungus while soothing irritated skin. Provides relief for the scalp, face, and body.

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