The Healthy Truth: I treated an abscess with apple cider vinegar, and this is what happened

The-Healthy-Truth-abscess-with-apple-cider-vinegarDear friends,

Two years ago, I developed an abscess that required a surgical procedure to drain. I know that sounds graphic, but if you’ve ever dealt with an abscess you know that the only way to get a relief is by having it cut open.


After the abscess was cut and drained, I still had to visit a nurse for some time to have it cleaned out and to monitor the healing process. At the time, fast recovery was crucial because I was set to go on vacation and didn’t want my well-deserved time off to be ruined.

Needless to say, the abscess did heal and I enjoyed my vacation just fine.

Last week, I began experiencing the same pain I had two years ago, which prompted me to see a doctor to make sure the abscess had not returned. Before I continue, let me first explain how it can return. Because the skin didn’t fully close after that original procedure, I will always have a tiny hole which makes it much easier for hair and bacteria to enter. So if I’m not careful, the abscess can very easily come back.

When I saw the doctor, he confirmed that the abscess did, in fact, return, but that it was too small to be cut open and drained as it was the first time. He prescribed me 10 days worth of antibiotics in order to fight the infection.

Now, it’s not that I don’t believe in the use of antibiotics, BUT I don’t feel taking antibiotics is a good preventative measure. I was somewhat concerned by the fact that the doctor didn’t know what type of bacteria I may or may not have had and yet prescribed me antibiotics for 10 days, so I hesitated to fill the prescription.

By now I have become quite familiar with the healing properties of apple cider vinegar and have read up about its antibacterial properties. I have even used it as a facial toner in order to deal with acne and sudden pimples and it really seemed to work.

I decided that before I take on that prescription for the antibiotics I would first try to heal the abscess using apple cider vinegar. If it failed, well, I still had the prescription, but I figured I didn’t really have much to lose.

Each night, I diluted some apple cider vinegar with some water, soaked a cotton ball with the solution, placed it on the affected area, and taped it down. I slept with this cotton ball all night, and then I removed it and cleaned the area in the morning.

During the first couple of days, the area did sting and burn a bit, but the discomfort soon faded. After about two days, the pain was no longer present and I could touch the area.

It’s been about four days now and the pain is gone, which leads me to believe that whatever was irritating the skin may be no longer there. My plan is to stick with this practice for a few more days just to make sure it is fully healed and check back with my doctor to determine whether the apple cider vinegar was actually successful.

For now, I believe that I did manage to heal the abscess using apple cider vinegar and, frankly, I feel much better knowing that I didn’t take antibiotics to do so. I’m not afraid or against antibiotics per se, they are very useful and at times necessary when treating certain ailments. On the other hand, I strongly believe that natural remedies can be effective for certain conditions, too, not to mention that they are generally safe for the majority of people.
Would I recommend apple cider vinegar as a treatment method? Yes, I very much would, but I am not a doctor. Remember, no one can replace the advice of a healthcare practitioner, and if you choose to try a natural home remedy you must do your research beforehand. Don’t hesitate to seek medical advice if you feel that your condition is worsening. For example, if my apple cider vinegar experiment actually made my abscess worse or more painful, I would not have hesitated to fill my prescription and see a doctor right away.


Apple cider vinegar is hailed for its numerous benefits – if you’re interested, there’s plenty of information on the web. It has been known to treat earwax buildup, kidney stones, itchy throat, stomachaches, gallstones, and even tinnitus. For optimal results, you will always want to use an unfiltered, raw apple cider vinegar as it has not been processed.

Until next week,

Emily Lunardo

Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.


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