Treating Keratosis With Apple Cider Vinegar
Throughout history people have used natural remedies to treat a variety of diseases. Based on the use of herbs and plants, these remedies are often alternatives to very expensive modern medicines which often have debilitating side effects. Many of these treatments are administered by practitioners in the field and are quite often complex. Many can be used by non-professionals with very few negative consequences. One of these includes the use of apple cider vinegar to treat keratosis.
Keratosis is a skin condition which results from the abnormal build-up of keratin (a protein which contributes to the growth of hair and nails) on the skin. There is a variety of keratosis, pilaris, seborrheic and actinic. Firstly, the most common type is pilaris which occurs in 50-80% of teenagers. Nicknamed ‘chicken skin’ KP as it is known presents as hard tiny reddish bumps on the skin. Finally, actinic keratosis and seborrheic keratosis are often confused with each other. Both are common, often benign skin tumors, however, there are significant differences. Actinic for instance usually develops in persons who are constantly exposed to the ultra violet rays of the sun and thus usually appear on the arms, neck, face and lips. The exact cause of seborrheic keratosis is unknown. They often appear as we age, in sun-exposed areas of the body and seem to be hereditary. Seborrheic presents as wart-like, with colors which range from white, to light tan to black. Actinic presents as thick, scaly, crusty bumps lesions. While, as stated before, both are most often benign, there is a danger that actinic can develop into an invasive skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma. The seborrheic kind does not require any treatment other than for irritations which may occur because of itchiness. With actinic however, treatment is often necessary, hence apple cider vinegar as one of the options available.
So what is apple cider vinegar (or ACV as it is otherwise known)? It is a type of vinegar made from the fermentation of apple cider. The apple cider is broken down by bacteria and yeast, creating an alcoholic substance which then turns into vinegar. It contains a variety of acids including acetic acid which works by sloughing off debris on the skin leaving smoother skin. Testimonies from users of ACV have stated that applying it directly to the keratosis for a protracted period of time (2-4 weeks) results in excellent results. It stings and using it in too high a concentration can lead to negative interactions (intense burning, stripping resulting in bleeding) so care must be taken.
No treatment is infallible and there are other options open to the sufferers of keratosis, so choose what is best and always consult a doctor!