Apple cider vinegar has been with us for ages. However, not everyone knows about it its potential health benefits. Apple cider vinegar is widely used as a home remedy in treating certain health ailments and is used as a natural preservative and disinfectant.
Apple cider vinegar is also known as ACV, and it is produced from apples and made by fermentation, and it is often found in liquid form.
More people are beginning to explore the health benefit of apple cider vinegar as it is now commonly used for blood sugar regulation and weight loss. Similarly, apple cider vinegar has become a favorite of many people in treating dark spots.
In this article, we will be discussing if apple cider vinegar helps with dark spots, amongst other things. Before we delve into the main crux of this piece, let us quickly look at what causes dark spots on the skin.
What Causes Dark Spots?
Dark spots appear on the skin. It is also known as hyperpigmentation, age spots, liver spots, or solar lengthiness. Dark spots mostly appear on the skin of people in their middle ages due to previous sun exposure.
Dark spots appear due to overproduction of the skin pigment melanin. Let's look at the leading causes of dark spots.
Exposure to Ultraviolet light: Exposure to UV light from the sun or other artificial sources such as tanning beds is the main cause of dark spots. Previous exposure to sunlight begins to manifest as hyperpigmentation sets in middle age.
It is often worse in individuals who did not use sunscreens or take other sun-protective measures. People with light hair or skin or who have suffered severe or several sunburns in the past are at more risk of experiencing dark spots.
Skin conditions: Dark spots can also occur as a result of certain skin conditions which include, linea nigra, melasma, Riehl's melanomas, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (acne), etc.
Certain Medications: Some medications can cause dark spots as they make the skin hypersensitive to sun exposure. Some of these medications include tetracyclines, phenytoin, estrogens, amiodarone, etc.
Particular health conditions: Dark spots may appear on the skin of some people with certain conditions such as liver disease, pregnancy, pituitary tumors, Addison diseases, etc.
Symptoms of Dark Spots
Dark spots may appear from black to light or dark brown. They often appear flat and normally are oval shaped. Dark spots are likely to occur in areas that are most exposed to the sun, such as:
The back of the hands
However, dark spots can appear on any part of the body.
You can diagnose dark spots by contacting a dermatologist or your primary health care doctor. The doctor would physically examine the area and would only demand a biopsy if the spots looked suspicious.
What Does Apple Cider Vinegar do for the Skin?
Apple cider vinegar has become the new toast of many skincare beauty enthusiasts. While there is no conclusive scientific evidence to back the benefits of apple cider vinegar for the skin, it contains some properties that could be very beneficial to the skin.
Furthermore, many people have reported an improvement in their skin after including ACV in their skincare routine. Let's look at some benefits of apple cider vinegar for the skin.
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Skin
Melanin gives the skin its pigmentation. Apple cider vinegar contains Malic acid, which helps decrease the production of melanin, thereby improving hyperpigmentation.
It helps to balance the skin's PH
Apple cider vinegar helps your skin function optimally by balancing the PH of your skin's outer layer. A balanced PH in the skin encourages the production of the right amount of oil and improves the skin's capacity to fight acne-causing bacteria.
Exfoliate the skin
The malic acid in apple cider vinegar can gently exfoliate the skin by clearing pores and combat acne-causing bacteria.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is harsh and is capable of causing chemical burns on the skin. As a result, you must dilute with water before applying it to the skin. Apple cider vinegar should also be used as an overnight spot treatment by mixing it with other powder mask products.
Are There Side Effects of Using Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider is suitable for all skin types as its main component; malic acid is milder than most alpha-hydroxyl acids. However, make sure you patch test the product beforehand to check if your skin reacts with it.
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can cause chemical burns. Similarly, other components of apple cider vinegar can cause dryness and irritation of the skin.
Some people use apple cider vinegar to whiten teeth and for fresher breath. However, you could endanger your teeth to the ACV's acidity, which can damage tooth enamel.
Furthermore, ingesting apple cider vinegar may cause hypoglycemia (low potassium levels) in some people. It could also cause burns in the digestive tract, especially if consumed in large amounts.
So the best way to avoid or prevent these side effects is to dilute with water to reduce its harshness adequately.
Other Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Aside from the benefits of apple cider vinegar on the skin, it also has some potential benefits for our general health and well-being. The following are some possible benefits of apple cider to our health.
Weight loss: Apple cider vinegar may help with weight loss. While there are no conclusive studies to back up this claim, several ACV enthusiasts have maintained that they notice a reduction in their weight.
Blood sugar: Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid that may block enzymes that help to digest starch. By so doing, the body makes only a smaller blood sugar response after eating any starch food. However, people with diabetes should consult their doctor before using ACS. Furthermore, apple cider vinegar may interact with diabetes medication and should not be used by individuals with gastroparesis.
Sore throat: Several people use ACV to treat sore throat. Despite the lack of research on apple cider vinegar to manage sore throat, many advocates continue to vouch for its effectiveness. The most common recipe for using ACV for sore throat is one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a teaspoon of honey, and cayenne pepper mixed in a cup of warm water.
Dandruff: Spraying apple cider vinegar and water solution on the scalp is believed to help manage irritation and itchiness. Because of its acetic acid, ACS can alter the scalp's PH level, making it difficult for yeast to thrive.
Other Natural Remedies for Dark Spots
Dark spots can be pretty frustrating for people who have them. Aside from apple cider vinegar, other natural home remedies have potential benefits for dark spots. They include:
Papaya: Papaya contains fruit known as alpha-hydroxyl acids that can exfoliate and improve the surface of your skin.
Turmeric: Turmeric can help to inhibit the skin's melanin production, which causes dark spots due to hyperpigmentation.
Yogurt: Another natural remedy for dark spots is yogurt. It exfoliates the skin and helps to fade out dark sports.
Aloe vera: Dark spots are not always caused by hyperpigmentation. Scarring is usually pronounced on those with melanin-rich skin. The application of aloe on the skin or by ingesting it can help to reduce the appearance of scars.
For individuals with dark spots, trying out apple cider vinegar may very well offer you a good chance of dealing with it for good.
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