Can apple cider vinegar give you a rash?

January 16, 2015
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

Five days ago I started sipping 2 Tbs. of apple cider vinegar diluted with water to speed weight loss. It’s worked wonders—my cravings have disappeared and I’m down 8 pounds. There’s just one problem: Three days after I started drinking the vinegar water, my skin broke out in a dry, itchy rash, plus I have major brain fog. Should I be worried?

It sounds like your symptoms are due to apple cider vinegar’s detoxifying effects. This liquid gold not only blunts carb absorption and speeds fat burning, its acetic acid also balances the body’s pH levels—an effect that helps kill off acid-loving yeast. As these “bad” flora die off, though, they release toxic by-products into the bloodstream that can trigger brain fog, rashes, fatigue and headaches.

The length of time that these detox symptoms linger varies based on how overloaded your system was with yeast to start off with. Some people only suffer two days of discomfort while others can feel the effects for five to six days. The good news is, once the yeast is cleared from your body, you’ll experience more energy, clearer skin and less bloat, in addition to faster weight loss.

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Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

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  1. Tony

    I`m glad I ran across this blog… For some time now I`ve been experiencing a few itchy bumps on my legs and ankles and a couple near the waistline which start out very small but seem to get larger as the itching intensifies…. I`m just now realizing it may be the apple cider vinegar that I drink on and off and so I decided to google apple cider vinegar side affects and to my surprise discovered some people have reactions to this vinegar….. I had just over half a bottle of acv left in a bottle that I had started drinking yesterday but have since poured in down my kitchen sink drain. I thought I was getting bitten by an insect or something but could not understand how I could get bit through my socks and clothing. Then I thought maybe it was the laundry detergent or perhaps some food I was eating but it seemed I was hitting a dead end with all those things… Then it dawned on me, what about the apple cider vinegar ?…..After reading it can cause skin problems in some people, I will not ever drink that stuff again.

    • Sarah Hunter

      I think you missed the point lol it’s good for you, after a few days of you drinking it the rashes will stop. It’s detoxing you and killing your overgrowth of yeast.

    • Lee

      I had same problem! Rash/hives was on my shins. Had it off and on for a year before questioning the ACV. I eliminated other foods, medications, supplements, lotions. Couldn’t rid my shins from this itchy rash. Stopped taking the ACV, and magic…….rash went away!

      • Angie

        What kind of ACV were you taking, though? Was it organic and did it contain the mother, like in the Bragg’s brand? Most ACV in the store is not real ACV but other vinegar that has had caramel coloring added to it, and is caustic and possibly toxic to the body and only good for disinfecting household areas. If you were not using organic ACV with the mother in it, I would think this may have been your cause of problems. I would try using organic ACV and start by taking it once a day for a week and then increase to two or three separate doses per day over a few months. If you were taking organic ACV when this happened to you, then you could be sensitive to it.

    • Jai

      Had fungal infection on my skin i started applying acv to my skin in the shower. Started getting horrible hives. Realized outta gotta be the acv

  2. Steve J

    I starting taking 15ml of Apple Cider Vinegar each day. After 2 weeks I noticed more and more itchy bumps (hives) on my skin. I have stopped taking the Apple Cider Vinegar and the hives are reducing in size and itchiness.

    • Jet

      How long did it take for the itchiness to go away? I am on day 3 of itching and about to go crazy!

  3. Hazel Icoz

    2 days ago I went to the doctor regarding my itchy hives, He diagnosed pruritus and gave some inert skin cream. I have been taking ACV with the mother (which I make myself) for my psoriasis. I am just finishing my 3rd batch and have 2 more ‘on the go’ . My psoriasis was healed 3 weeks ago but I continued to take it,as psoriasis always recurs. I contacted this page because I have been wondering if the ACV was to blame for the hives or the anti-inflammatories that were prescribed for sinusitis, I knew that ACV was used by some people for cleansing the blood so I was interesting to read the comments about the connection between ACV and hives and that once the body has got rid of the yeasts the body will return to normal I will definitely be continuing to take the vinegar,especially for the psoriasis. I will let you know how I go on!!

    • Anon

      Did it work?

  4. Angie

    Wow!! So glad I found all this Info! I ended a 7day water fast With fresh green juice and bone broth. Felling better than I have felt in forever. Very clean! My gut, my skin, my energy, everything felt like it had been Reset. A few days after I started eating I began adding 2T. ACV to a quart of warm water with fresh lemon juice and drank it every morning. By the third day I stared getting a horrible itchy dry rash on both my elbows, then my R. foot and toes. I continued with the ACV not at all thinking That’s what it would be… questioned and abolished all the other foods in my diet. I’ve stayed off dairy and gluten since my fast and couldn’t think of anything new in my diet that would be giving me this horrific rash these last several weeks…. till this morning when I was making my ACV… “googled ACV and rashes” found you guys. I know it’s not a yeast die off! I’ve experienced that before this is a direct reaction to the ACV. I wouldn’t be able to pinpoint it had I not just started introducing food into my diet… I will NOT take it any longer. The itching and rash is awful! And I have a hard time thinking it’s doing good inside my body when It’s reacting this way!

  5. Susan coalson

    First day of taking my gummy acv and I’m already experiencing hives down my arms, I’m going to try to offset it by taking a Zyrtec

    • Team ALG

      Susan, Just stop taking the gummy acv.

  6. Robert

    I recently started taking a glassof water with a table spoon of ACV twice a day. I had been getting liver discomfort and achy knees for weeks. The pain in my knees vanished the liver pain got largely better but a small rash developed under my right pectoral muscle. With topical aloe Vera this has largely subsided but remains itchy.I have lost weight, and it is visually apparent. I recently had liver and kidney function blood tests which were fine. I have stopped taking the ACV in a glass of water for the moment. I always have it on salad as well most days.I want to lose more weight.


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