Jul 05, 2016
Actinic Keratosis (solar keratosis) is a common skin condition caused repeated sun damage over many years. While the condition is generally harmless, the risk exists that a solar keratosis patch may develop into skin cancer. Because these skin patches can appear on the head, face, hands and arms, they are a cosmetic concern for many as well. Home remedies for actinic keratosis are inexpensive, effective and easy to use. Apple cider vinegar, borax, iodine and vitamin C are among the simple proven natural cures for actinic keratosis.
Natural Remedies for Actinic Keratosis (Solar Keratosis)
Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw and organic apple cider vinegar is used internally and externally to treat actinic keratosis.
Depending on the size of the actinic keratosis, use a q-tip or cotton ball to apply raw, organic apple cider vinegar to the spots 2-4 times a day. If you find that this irritates your skin, dilute it with water - use equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar has been used for generations to heal a variety of conditions, including skin problems. Add 1 -3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a tall glass of water once or twice a day.
Borax, found in the laundry section of larger grocery stores, is a very inexpensive natural remedy for actinic keratosis. Make a paste with borax and water. Apply to the lesions 2-4 times a day. One of our readers mixed the borax with Listerine instead of water and found that to be very helpful!
Vitamin C is best used internally and externally for the treatment of actinic keratosis.
To use vitamin C topically you will Vitamin C powder in the form of ascorbic acid. Mix 1/8 teaspoon of ascorbic acid with 1 teaspoon of water. Use a cotton ball or q-tip to apply this solution to your lesions 2 - 4 times a day. Make a new batch of solution each day.
The ascorbic acid powder can be used as your internal vitamin c supplement, which is also helpful for skin conditions and immune system support. It will be the least expensive way to get your vitamin c anyway. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of ascorbic acid and 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda and 4 ounces of water. This will give you a little over 1 gram of vitamin C in the form of sodium ascorbate, which is easier on the stomach than ascorbic acid. This amount can be taken 2-3 times a day or even more often. If you get loose stools, cut back on the amount you take.
Topical use of iodine has been found effective in healing actinic keratosis. Use a q-tip to apply iodine to the lesions twice a day. Try this first at night. Iodine stains the skin for a time and you may not wish to go out with your skin an orange-yellow color! It is possible you will only want to use this treatment at bedtime. If so, perhaps try one of the other topical solutions above each morning. Lugol's iodine is a popular iodine for internal and external use.
Colorless and odorless, colloidal silver can be used for solar keratosis. If you put colloidal silver in a spray bottle it is easy to apply and won't stain or sting! Apply colloidal silver at least twice a day.
If you have actinic keratosis, you should protect your skin from over exposure to the sun. Short periods of sun exposure are important for the body, but if you will be in the sun for extended periods, protect your skin. Lightweight long sleeves, pants and hats are preferred over sunscreen. Overuse of chemical sunscreen has been linked to skin cancers.
Have you tried a natural remedy for actinic keratosis? Please share your story with us! And continue reading to find out how our readers have used the above remedies, and others, to treat their actinic keratosis.
Remedies for Solar Keratosis
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Diagnosed with pre-cancerous Actinic Ketosis on my back. Read here, (thank you Earth Clinic for this site and all of you! ) that ACV could help this. Since I'm up for experimenting on myself, I tried it.
I used the ACV straight on the Ketosis after I took a picture of it. It is now healed completely. Also used the ACV straight, no dilution, on my face, and any bumps that I have on my body and under breasts. A small skin nodule under my lip fell off in one day. At first, my skin seemed to get very red, but I think that was the stuff coming out that needed healing. All other bumps (moles, etc.) are getting better but not healed yet.
My husband had a rash on the back of his knee and has been using ACV for the past month and it is much better but not healed yet. ACV rocks!
Replied by Shellie
Replied by Rose
Huntingdon Valley, Pa
Posted by Blindedbyscience (Wnc) on 06/26/2014
ACV for solar keratosis, basal cell.
If you are not getting results with this, I suggest applying the ACV and leaving it open to air as much as possible. Also try not using oils (even coconut! ) for a while. For me my problem just continued when I used oils. Hydrogen peroxide seems fine. I'm getting much better result this way. You can use a soaked ACV cotton ball to cover the area or expose the problem but then it needs to dry out I believe. I have been messing with a spot for over 3 yrs. I feel I had a setback when I applied orange oil 3 months ago but I've almost knocked out the new area using the above. Yes I've tried almost all the home remedies including Efudex, twice daily x 3wk (probably should have done it longer). BTW I only recently quit applying oil completely because it dawned on me that the times I had the most improvement was when I didn't use oil. I just started experimenting with hemp oil on my good skin to see if it helps with age spots.
Replied by Blindedbyscience
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Replied by Jeff
Posted by J.s.c. (Florida, US) on 06/23/2014
I gave ACV an good 8 weeks, applying 2 to 3 times a day, on a keratosis on my face. It was on the side of my nose, right under my left eye, right where the pads for your glasses would sit. It was the size of the pads of glasses, too.
It didn't work for this keratosis. I had had it biopsied, since I didn't know what it was, at first. Having those two puncture marks in it, I believe made it more difficult to treat, because it wasn't in one piece anymore, and had little grooves and difficult to get at areas.
So, I gave in and let my doctor freeze it with the liquid nitrogen. It was quick, and much less painful than the ACV treatments were. I am still waiting for the freezing to heal, and will let you know how it goes, but I think it does look much better than what I was doing with the ACV.
If I had another one to deal with, and didn't get the biopsy, I might try ACV again. I think that I had let this one go on too long, as it had been there for a couple of years. So, I'm not down on using ACV, but would def use it much sooner, if I ever had to....and hope I never, never need to deal with it again.
Posted by Dan (Uk) on 05/16/2014
Apple Cider Vinegar for Actinic Keratosis:
About 9 years ago I hit my quite bald head on a lump of rough wood while on holiday. It bled but healed as any other cut would. Then 9yrs or so later (I'm 36 now) after a shower I notice some blood on the towel after drying my slightly balder head. I checked it out and the scar tissue was bleeding, ever so slightly. I didn't think much of it at the time but after a week or so it wasn't getting much better so I had it checked by a derm and he said it was Actinic Keratosis (AK) and prescribed Aldara cream. I didn't go for the cream due to side effects and the fact that I don't place a lot of faith in modern medicine. Instead I did some research which included this website and another one on skin cancer and came up with the ACV alternative treatment which I started immediately because we already had some, with a rather large mother as it was a couple of years old. I started to douse the area with a cotton bud 2-3 times per day and also supplemented with ACV morning and evening (two desert spoons in a glass of water). When the derm had looked at it he pushed and pulled it about and left me with big scab which I was a bit uncomfortable with. I read that you have to be persistent but I was beginning to lose faith a bit after 3-4 weeks and then last night while dousing, the large scab just floated off to reveal what appears to be unblemished new skin! I still have a couple of much smaller scabs an hope these will go the same way so will carry on treating it. I will probably continue to supplement (in water) even when they are gone because I read that these conditions sometimes occur when your body is too acidic and ACV helps to alkalize it. It might be worth mentioning that I have suffered with Candida, a long standing toe nail fungus, for all of my adult life and I believe this contributed to it as well.
Hopefully this will encourage others to try the alternatives but remember that it won't happen overnight and keep going!
Posted by Cobbit (Farnham, Uk) on 10/10/2013
I was prescribed Efudex for my first solar keratosis in 2008, using it for 6 weeks, and whilst it did work, it left me with a pale mark on my cheek. I recently developed another keratosis, this time on my nose, and my search for a kinder alternative remedy brought me to this website. I used apple cider vinegar and am relieved and happy to be able to say that it has worked. After about four days of applying Raw ACV, a scab developed, and just over two weeks later it has fallen off leaving no sign of the keratosis. Do try it, for me the whole treatment was so quick and now I have plenty of vinegar left over to use for salad dressing!
Posted by Tracy (Austin Texas) on 09/22/2013
I have been trying apple cider vinegar for about 5 days. Applying twice daily and sleeping in my legs wrapped in gauze soaked in ACV. I have about 4 spots that look like a hole has been burned in leg and is yellow and very swollen. Should I keep applying to these spots or stop? Thank you for help! I have been using chemotherapy cream for almost a year with no change at all! I can already tell they are getting better but just worried about these spots that look really bad. Thanks for any advice!
Replied by Mmsg
Replied by Nano Writer
Posted by Philip (Newcastle, Staffordshire, U.k.) on 09/15/2013
I was diagnosed with solar keratosis in March 2013 and prescribed a Diclofenac Sodium gel (Solaraze) for 90-day application to treat the itchy rashes on my forehead.
The 90-day use was somewhat effective but upon stopping (as the prescription was then expired), the rashes came back with a vengeance.
I looked for a natural alternative and found this website, for which I'm now very grateful. I washed Apple Cider Vinegar into the affected areas morning and night and also took a tablespoon of ACV with sweetening and healing Manuka Honey morning and night too. Straightaway I could see and feel the rashes healing. Now, two months on, I've just been back to the dermatologist who found that all but a small patch on my nose was completely healed. There's some barely visible scarring which I imagine is because the keratosis damages the skin quite deeply. I hadn't been paying so much attention to the patch on my nose but I am doing now, applying the ACV.
Throughout this time I've worn a baseball cap when I go outside if there's any sun to aggravate the rashes. Early on, I forgot my cap one sunny day and the rashes were aggravated so today I'm still using the cap for protection, probably best to do so, I guess.
Posted by Chris (Texas) on 08/21/2013
I got tired of my Dermatologist poo-poohing then suggesting cutting, scraping, freezing or burning the solar keratosis on my left cheek. Not on my face! This very site turned me on to the apple cider vinegar cure. Applying religiously for three weeks has caused the red patch, originally the size of a pencil eraser, to almost completely disappear. Apply several times daily (more on weekends or when one isn't working) with a q-tip, be patient, and watch the magic slowly happen. The key is to not quit, no matter how bad the keratosis looks, because the apple cider vinegar will attack vigorously at first, even sting and burn. I can't wait to crow about this simple, cost-effective, at-home, remedy when I see the Dermatologist next May. Keep in mind that often times doctors are looking out for their own wallets, not your personal well-being. Who wants to be cut, scrapped, burned, or frozen when, with a little patience, the results can be this rewarding? Thanks to everyone who posted before me about this amazing cure! It's great to have my confidence back and be able to look at myself in the mirror again!!!
Posted by Steve (Dublin, Ireland) on 08/20/2013
Hi all, I would just like to say I have used ACV on several solar keratosis over the last few months and Yes it definitely works a treat. It takes a good while sometime 4-8 weeks to clear them up but it is definitely worth it. I started applying the vinegar on two on my temple and after a week more appeared and all went crusty, I kept applying the ACV day and night week after week and eventually they all fell off. So the key I found was not to give up and keep at it until they clear. O yeah I also drink it and will continue to do so, have had a cold or been sick in the last year. Thanks Earthclinic brilliant website.
Posted by Ex-nurse (Canterbury, New Zealand) on 07/27/2013
Twelve days ago, the doctor diagnosed a 'scab' patch on my nose as solar keratosis. I checked the internet and discovered the apple cider vinegar method of treatment. I applied a. C. V. Several times a day and drank a glass with one teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar each day. On the 11th day I noticed the scab - which had been becoming firmer, shrunken, then whitish, had dropped off, leaving just a pink mark.
I've not been back yet to find if there are any other suspicious patches, but none are visible, as far as I can see...
Posted by Biff (Peterborough, Ontario) on 05/03/2013
After asking my doctor to look at a rough patch on my face for 6 years, and dealing with his constant... don't touch it and you'll be fine, I treated my solar keratosis with Apple Cider Vinegar. I soaked a piece of cotton ball in it and placed it over my keratosis with a bandaid at night while I slept. The site I read up on said to do this for 3-4 weeks. After a couple of days it gets red and looks like a bee sting on your face. Then it begins to dry and crack, mine even bled a bit. I was going to give up but kept persevering. After the 3 week the dry scab fell off and my skin was completely smooth. I couldn't believe it. the following summer I was in the sun and the spot began to reappear so I did it again only not as long. I think were people doubt this remedy if it is a solar keratosis is that they don't do it long enough. Or they see it turning red or dry and stop. I think the key is to keep going for several weeks. I swear by it.
Replied by Diane
Port Hope, On
Posted by Kgd (Saint Louis, Mo) on 04/30/2013
I treated 10 actinic keratosis lesions that were in a 3"X4" area on top of my head using apple cider vinegar. I slept every night with a stocking cap over duct tape holding a cloth soaked with ACV against the affected area. There was a very strong reaction. I felt a mild burning sensation every night, they turned red, repeatedly formed scabs, and gradually seemed to fade. The skin became smooth but the outlines of the lesions were still there.
As the first batch of AK's faded, about 20 more AK's of various sizes appeared within the same area, so I continued the treatment. ACV gently removes the outer layers of skin, and I otherwise wouldn't have known that I had so many AK's because they were hidden underneath the skin.
I continued the treatment every night for many weeks because I wanted to give it a chance to succeed. During that entire time the change was so gradual that I was never really sure if it was helping or not.
After 3 months the affected area looked so bad that I started wearing hats in public. At that point I decided to try something else. Within 48 hours of stopping the ACV treatment the smooth AK lesions became rough again indicating that ACV had no effect other than exposing AK's that were previously hidden underneath the skin.
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Posted by Bob (Fanwood, New Jersey) on 01/15/2009
I was diagnosed in August '08 with solar keratosis on the top of my head. It was frozen off and reappeared. I tried castor oil from an Edgar Cayse remedy and it became scaly and fell off and grew back. This happened above 3 or 4 times. I started my research on natural remedies and began the internal and topical ACV 3 days ago. I was not sure it it was me wanted to beleive there is a change going on or if there really is one. It's only been a few days..but my girlfriend said she noticed my face has a pink and healthy change. My hands began getting more supple as I had dry skin. The keratosis is not as scaly and a little smoother. I have also began a strict diet with juicing and basic supplements of c, zeolite, d, omega 3, and a multi. I will post again next week.
Posted by Kimberly (New York, NY USA) on 12/14/2008
I would like to enthusiastically offer my support for apple cider vinegar in the cure of various skin ailments. WARTS: I dipped a very small piece of cotton in ACV, put this directly on the wart, then covered all with an air-tight bandage. I left on for c. 12 hours, then let the entire area breathe for 12 hours. I repeated for about 3 weeks, as this was a deep and large wart. The first 2 applications stung and throbbed a bit, but from then on, the entire enterprise was painless. The area eventually ulcerated--looks messy for a while--and painlessly peeled off. No more wart! As maintenance for about 3 more weeks, I dabbed a little ACV on the area, without bandage. The wart has not recurred after more than a year and a half! This really works, folks!
ACTINIC KERATOSIS: My dermatologist identified this on my skin just above my upper lip. She offered to burn it off with liquid nitrogen: no, thanks. I followed the same ACV routine, and it worked! Took a lot less time, as this keratosis was not deep.
BENIGN PAPILLOMA: I am currently eliminating a little bump from my nose that I've had for over 10 years: it is in the red and ulcerating phase and about to sluff off.
I am THRILLED with the way ACV works to remove skin ailments! This method is cheap, safe, and natural. The skin afterwards is perfectly healthy and not scarred: quite preferable to liquid nitrogen or fluorouracil-5 or other harsh chemicals. Try it!
Replied by Margaret
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Los Angeles, Ca
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