Jump to content
Acne.org
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
nhsbiomed

Apple Cider Vinegar - A quasi-scientific study - GAME OVER

Hello everyone.

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the use of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) to reduce the red marks left by acne, here: http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php?showtopic=108428

Many people have found it quite effective at reducing red marks, and also many people have voiced reservations about quite how effective it really is.

Recently the discussion turned to searching for any previous scientific studies looking specifically at the use of ACV on skin. However, it appears there is nothing in the current literature regarding ACV specifically.

Bummer.

So I have decided to conduct a study of my own, using myself as test subject. I have a little collection of red marks of my own radiating the posterior section of my lower left mandible (lol, I'm such a geek!).

I'm gonna make this study as scientific as possible (I have experience in scientific research), and will include standardisations and controls.

This will not just be a collection of 'progress' photos. This will include analysis of the redness of the treated red marks using the Photoshop eyedropper tool (5x5 average). I'll work out a way of combining the RGB values to give a single measureable value of 'redness'. I'll keep all photographic variables constant (e.g. lighting, no flash, distance from camera, etc), and I'll also include a grey scale chart in each photo to standardise balance and contrast.

I'll use the ACV daily for about 1 week.....I can't extend this unfortunatley, due to work. I'll also not use any other acne products for the duration. I'll treat half of the red marks with ACV and leave the rest alone. Plotting the 'redness' (ordinate) against time (abscissa) should show if the healing process is faster using ACV.

Of course a naff little study like this would never stand up to any sort of true scientific scrutiny, but it should go some way to providing reassurance that smelling of vinegar all day is actually worth it.

So, what I need from you guys is to help decide what decrease in 'redness' would constitute a success. Would you consider 10% less redness a success? Or 30%? 50% maybe.

This should be decided BEFORE I start using the ACV.

Personally, I think 30% reduction in redness sounds about fair.

Also, feel free to critise my method....this is how science works. :cool:

I'll post again soon regarding the 'redness' value calculations.

Yes, I know e-x-a-c-t-l-y how sad I am!!!! :dance:

==============

I'm a registered clincial biomedical scientist in chemical pathology for the NHS in England.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Calculating Redness Value

================

Ok, before I start, I had better warn you that my maths from-first-principles is atrocious. I'm totally guessing that what I have done below is correct, and I can almost guarantee that it is not.

If ANYONE has any real maths skills, I'd be more than happy to revise the method using your suggestions!

So, basically I want to create a single value from the RGB values given in Photoshop. The value should be high when the red mark is very red, and low when the skin has no red mark. It is not suitable to just use the red value from RGB because the red appearance is a culmination of the three primary colours.

The image here shows a picture of my red marks, and also the normal colour of my skin. Remember, I live in Manchester in the UK, so I'm as white as chalk. lol

IPB Image

I've picked out areas of my skin that are red to differing degrees....normal, pink, red, and v red.

The RGB 5x5 average values (R,G,B) are:

Normal (176,122,109)

Pink (187,105,102)

Red (159,93,81)

V Red (152,72,76)

Now as you can see, the values don't decrease by consistent proportions, so it is necessary to account for individual RGB weightings. Using the % difference between the Normal and V Red values of R, G, and B, it is possible to find the relative 'weight' of each primary colour.

R:G:B

16%:48%:36%

So, in other words, red will contribute 16% of the final value, green 48%, and blue 36%.

This equation will provide the initial redness value:

0.16( R )+0.48( G )+0.36( B )

Those of you still awake will notice that this gives higher results for less red skin:

Normal = 126

Pink = 117

Red = 99

V Red = 86

So the following equation will be used:

-([X]) - ([NORMAL])

Where X is the value created by the previous equation, for each skin colour.

The following values are created:

Normal = 0

Pink = 9

Red = 27

V Red = 40

So there we go. '40' is a very red mark, '0' is normal skin. The study will see if ACV reduces this value for any given red mark, in comparison with untreated red marks.

I will call the end value the:

Standardised Homogeny of Marks as an Estimated Luminosity Index Series

Or simply 'S.h.m.e.l.i.s.', abbreviated Sh

In conclusion,

Sh = -([X](0.16( R )+0.48( G )+0.36( B ))-([NORMAL](0.16( R )+0.48( G )+0.36( B ))

Normal = 0 Sh

Pink = 9 Sh

Red = 27 Sh

V Red = 40 Sh

Feel free to attack.

:redface:

==============

I'm a registered clincial biomedical scientist in chemical pathology for the NHS in England.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am glad you are actually going to test this out and use nothing but ACV. Have you been using the Clear Skin Regimen or BP because if you use BP alot then you won't get the fast results that other people did who hardly used BP. You may also come to the conlusion (like I did and many others) that it helped red marks but the amazing part was the fact that it reduced oil :) I couldn't believe it when I noticed that and other people pointed it out.

Good Luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am glad you are actually going to test this out and use nothing but ACV. Have you been using the Clear Skin Regimen or BP because if you use BP alot then you won't get the fast results that other people did who hardly used BP. You may also come to the conlusion (like I did and many others) that it helped red marks but the amazing part was the fact that it reduced oil :) I couldn't believe it when I noticed that and other people pointed it out.

Good Luck!

Yes, I use BP daily. I'm definately not going to stop using it from now till I start the study (on 4th Sept)....I'll break out badly if i do :cry:

It'll just have to be recognised as a source of error. I will also be measuring the Sh of non-treated red marks as a control, so the error will be minimalised.

I definately notice that the red marks don't heal themselves when using BP.

I also noticed the reduction in oil as well. Again, I think this is due to the pH of ACV, in that your skin no longer needs to produce pH-lowering oils because the ACV has reduced skin pH already.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you going to dillute the ACV 50/50 with water or just use ACV alone? What about the use of the asprine tablets?

No, I'll have to use it 100% straight from the bottle, otherwise I'd have to set up yet a-n-o-t-h-e-r control to account for the water added to the ACV........what if it was the water causing the red mark to fade, NOT the ACV? etc.

No aspirin either for the same reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More than 20% in one week is pushing it. Few things other than intensive peels could offer that level of exfoliation. Vinegar just doesn't match up when it comes to acid content. I think if the experiment is no longer than one week you either have unique skin that somehoe can peel easily, have redmarks that are only a few layers of skin deep, or you are Superman.

Good luck though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More than 20% in one week is pushing it. Few things other than intensive peels could offer that level of exfoliation. Vinegar just doesn't match up when it comes to acid content. I think if the experiment is no longer than one week you either have unique skin that somehoe can peel easily, have redmarks that are only a few layers of skin deep, or you are Superman.

Good luck though.

Yeah, one week is not ideal really, but I refuse to go to work smelling of vinegar! lol

Maybe 10 or 20 per cent is more realistic then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
More than 20% in one week is pushing it. Few things other than intensive peels could offer that level of exfoliation. Vinegar just doesn't match up when it comes to acid content. I think if the experiment is no longer than one week you either have unique skin that somehoe can peel easily, have redmarks that are only a few layers of skin deep, or you are Superman.

Good luck though.

Not everyone can afford expensive peels nor does everyone wnat to suffer after having one. Painful face, redness, peeling and sometimes scarring. This is a much safer way and sure it won't give you instant relief from redmarks but neither does a peel because you still have to wait a long time for your skin to heal after being burned basically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peels are only expensive if you get them done professionaly. You can get any type of peel short of laser,at any strength with clinical grade acids for 1/20th the cost of a peel and you can do it just as safely and effectively. To get rid of my redmarks after I grew out of acne I have done many, ranging from Glycolic,Mandelic, Lactic, TCA, Jessner, etc... all safely at home. Also, you will probably have to wait at most 10 days for most peels, including strong ones to see the final result. Of course you can't do a peel right after but it's not going to take months to see the results of a TCA peel.

Regardless, it's going to be really hard,if not impossible to determine if your marks reduce by 10, 15, 20 percent. Reducing 1/10th is not going to be really noticeable. I admire you for doing this as scientifically as possible but I'm just saying for the timeframe you are giving, it's going to be really,really hard to come to some kind of conclusion barring a drastic change.

Good luck though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:lol: You're making your own study? That probably would be as good as someone's own personal opinion. To ascertain the validity of vinegar, scientists would have to perform experiments with a control group and test group controlling all variables. You would not be able to do this. Thus, your experiment is flawed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More than 20% in one week is pushing it. Few things other than intensive peels could offer that level of exfoliation. Vinegar just doesn't match up when it comes to acid content. I think if the experiment is no longer than one week you either have unique skin that somehoe can peel easily, have redmarks that are only a few layers of skin deep, or you are Superman.

Good luck though.

Yeah, one week is not ideal really, but I refuse to go to work smelling of vinegar! lol

Maybe 10 or 20 per cent is more realistic then.

I've been using ACV for the past few days and I can reassure you that the vinegar smell fades in a mere few minutes- if you applied it before you went to work, I highly doubt you would still smell like vinegar once you arrived.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol: You're making your own study? That probably would be as good as someone's own personal opinion. To ascertain the validity of vinegar, scientists would have to perform experiments with a control group and test group controlling all variables. You would not be able to do this. Thus, your experiment is flawed.

TAP!

I'm quite sure we now - finally - all get the picture that you don't like the ACV method, for some reason. But if you actually start reading about nhsbiomed's little study here, you'll find that your criticism missed it's target:

quote nhsbiomed: "Of course a naff little study like this would never stand up to any sort of true scientific scrutiny, but it should go some way to providing reassurance that smelling of vinegar all day is actually worth it".

For all I know, I haven't seen 1 post of yours that's positive...all you're interested in is bickering and bashing others who just happens to have a different point of view than you. How immature is that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Regardless, it's going to be really hard,if not impossible to determine if your marks reduce by 10, 15, 20 percent. Reducing 1/10th is not going to be really noticeable. I admire you for doing this as scientifically as possible but I'm just saying for the timeframe you are giving, it's going to be really,really hard to come to some kind of conclusion barring a drastic change.

True. Reducing redness by 10% will not be noticable to the naked eye, but is should be measurable via photoshop.

The timeframe is a problem. What I'm hoping for is something along the lines of this:

NOTE: THESE ARE NOT THE ACTUAL RESULTS!!!!! Just an 'example' of what might happen!!!!!!

IPB Image

Blue = ACV treated mark, Red = Non-treated mark.

But given the short study length, the difference will probably be less marked....if at all.....excuse the pun.

:lol: You're making your own study? That probably would be as good as someone's own personal opinion. To ascertain the validity of vinegar, scientists would have to perform experiments with a control group and test group controlling all variables. You would not be able to do this. Thus, your experiment is flawed.

All experiments are flawed through something called random error. The idea is to reduce all other sources of error. I WILL be using control groups.....

Test Group: I will pick a small area of skin and treat it with 100% ACV twice daily, using a cotton pad to apply.

Control Group 1: I will pick another small area which will NOT be treated with ACV but WILL be rubbed with a dry cotton pad the same number of times the test group is rubbed. This is to mimic the 'sloughing' action when ACV is applied to the test group. This will make sure that it is the ACV giving a reduction in redness, and not just the general massaging of the area by the pad.

Control Group 2: I will pick one last final area and leave it alone completely, minus daily washing with my usual soap.

I could go on and on for days thinking up new control groups to add. But unfortunately (fortunately?) I don't have that many red marks to spare!

This will be, like I said, a very low level study. But that's where all studies should start.

I'll start the study next Monday morning, and finish Sunday night.

I'll post observations during that time, but I've got a LOT on with my proper Lithium Heparin study write-up from work. So I can't promise much.

Thanks for the input!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is it about work that is keeping you from extending the study? Are you worried about smelling like vinegar? During this week, if you notice the smell goes away quickly, will you consider extending the study so we can see more obvious results?

Tap, you criticize too much. nhsbiobed stated that this is not the most airtight study, but it is a study nonetheless. Do you have anything constructive to add to the conversation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is it about work that is keeping you from extending the study? Are you worried about smelling like vinegar? During this week, if you notice the smell goes away quickly, will you consider extending the study so we can see more obvious results?

There are a few reasons, but the most important one doesn't involve work......

I fully expect that once I stop using the BP I'll break out like crazy. Now that's ok, cos I intend to shut myself away for the whole week whilst I write up the rest of my MSc dissertation. The problem is, I've got a holiday booked in 4 weeks :dance: , and I really don't want to be all spotty whilst I'm away. I think I could easily get my skin back in order within the two weeks that I'll have left.

That, and yeah, I don't want to smell of vinegar at work.....the stuff I bought really does stink. It's not professional to meet patients stinkin to high heaven!.

We'll just have to see what happens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol: You're making your own study? That probably would be as good as someone's own personal opinion. To ascertain the validity of vinegar, scientists would have to perform experiments with a control group and test group controlling all variables. You would not be able to do this. Thus, your experiment is flawed.

TAP!

I'm quite sure we now - finally - all get the picture that you don't like the ACV method, for some reason. But if you actually start reading about nhsbiomed's little study here, you'll find that your criticism missed it's target:

quote nhsbiomed: "Of course a naff little study like this would never stand up to any sort of true scientific scrutiny, but it should go some way to providing reassurance that smelling of vinegar all day is actually worth it".

For all I know, I haven't seen 1 post of yours that's positive...all you're interested in is bickering and bashing others who just happens to have a different point of view than you. How immature is that?

:clap: well said. I have read countless posts by him and ever since he/she w/e came to this site they have done nothing but bath other ppl's ideas. Oh, Tap and I doubt if you have any great ideas for helping ppl with red marks atleast I am trying my best to help others, all you are doing is acting like a critic and waiting for that new method to come out so you can bash it, without any clue as to whether it does work or not. Atleast nhsbiomed is making an attempt to try and scientifically prove something, for people like you who neeed scientific prove, as if that is always right. Well, nhsbiomed has already done alot for this website already, more than I can say about you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh, photoshop. I'm not familiar with most of the features on it so I didn't know you could do that. I was going to suggest a program where a computer could analyze the differences in colour, and I see you have that covered.

Make sure you remember the exact lighting conditions you used to take the picture. Of course you probably have all this figured out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh, photoshop. I'm not familiar with most of the features on it so I didn't know you could do that. I was going to suggest a program where a computer could analyze the differences in colour, and I see you have that covered.

Make sure you remember the exact lighting conditions you used to take the picture. Of course you probably have all this figured out.

Yes photoshop will be able to 'capture' the RGB value of a pixel, or in this case the average of a 5x5 area of pixels....which i think is more accurate.

Lighting conditions will be kept constant, of course. As will the time of day, position of camera, exposure, zoom etc. I will also produce a grey-scale chart which will be photographed along-side the picture of my skin. Hopefully this will go some way to ensuring all brightness/contrast issues are constant. I have quite a bit of photoshop experience.

It will all become clear as the results are released.

To be brutally honest, I'm not expecting great results from 7 days use of ACV, and with such an 'open' study. What I am hoping for is some sort of graph I can extrapolate from (with reasonable confidence) to give an estimate of 2, 3, maybe even 4 weeks worth of ACV use. I'm considering using a multiple sampling technique which will vastly increase the accuray and precision of the study...but will involve a LOT more work. Basically, this means taking multiple photos at each time-point, which will allow average SHMELIS/day to be calculated, thus standard deviation and even the coefficient of variation to be estimated for each day. This will account for photographic error only though.

To what degree my SHMELIS will accomodate this, I don't know. I need a real mathematician to assess this! It makes sense to me, but then again I thought the Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs Signed-Ranks test was appropriate in method validation....which I now know isn't!

Anyhow, at least this study will hold maybe a little more water over pure conjecture....which to be honest is all we require at this point...... A bit of validation.

Make no mistake though, if I find that there is no effect, I WILL conclude that ACV does not work within a 7-day time scale.....on my skin at least.

Again, thanks for the input! I could do with some agreement over what constitutes a success though, especially from the cynics, and especially from TAP!!!!!

5% 10% 20% 30% reduction in redness??????

This is important because then there is an agreed hypothesis to evaluate, rather than "is there an effect", which is very open.

I will expect TAP to say something along the lines of 100% lol, but I'm hoping he will be reasonable and take this study in the light that it has been presented. With the discussions above, I have changed my mind to assuming between 10 and 20 per cent reduction over 7 days to be a success....as compared to non treated marks.

If you think this is too little please say so!

:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest nec77

how many times a day are you using ACV?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

how many times a day are you using ACV?

At the moment, not at all.

In the past month or so I've used it on and off, and seen a little difference.....enough to convince me there's something in it.

During the study, I'll use it 2x daily, 12 hours in between.....e.g. once at 9:00am, then again at 9:00pm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes


×