Potential risks

There are some risks to using ACV, which mostly stem from improperly diluting it before applying it to your skin.

ACV is very acidic, and applying it undiluted to your skin can lead to burns, which could potentially increase your discomfort and put you at risk of developing a bacterial skin infection along with the rash (2Trusted Source).

For your safety, you should only apply ACV directly to your shingles rash if it’s heavily diluted. A safe dilution would be 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 mL) of ACV per 1 cup (237 mL) of water, or 1/2–1 cup (119–237 mL) of ACV in your bathwater.

SUMMARYACV can cause burns when applied directly to your skin, especially if it’s undiluted. This can cause your rash to worsen and may increase your risk of getting a bacterial infection as well.

Safe alternatives

The most important component of shingles treatment is to work closely with your healthcare provider. They may provide a topical pain cream that will help you manage the pain and discomfort associated with the shingles rash (3Trusted Source).

Some other ways to manage shingles pain include using a cool compress or taking a lukewarm oatmeal bath. You can also use calamine lotion, which is an over-the-counter lotion specifically formulated to reduce itching (3Trusted Source).

There’s no strong evidence to support the use of other home remedies for shingles pain, including ACV.

SUMMARYYour healthcare provider may prescribe you a topical pain cream to help ease the discomfort associated with shingles. You can also take lukewarm oatmeal baths, use a cool compress, or use calamine lotion.

The bottom line

Apple cider vinegar is a home remedy for shingles pain that’s often recommended online. Although ACV has some antiviral properties, there’s no evidence to suggest that it can help relieve the pain or itching associated with the shingles rash.

You should not apply undiluted ACV directly to your shingles rash or your skin, as it can cause burns.

In addition to working closely with your healthcare provider, your best options for managing shingles pain include taking oatmeal baths and applying cool compresses and calamine lotion.

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
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