Zinc in skin pathology and care

Yuval Bibi Nitzan, Arnon D. Cohen

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    31 Scopus citations


    Objectives: To assess the significance of zinc in the etiology of various dermatological conditions and examine the role of zinc as a mode of treatment for a wide range of dermatoses. Methods: Review of existing literature through searches using the PubMed site with zinc and the dermatosis in question as search words. Results: Severe zinc deficiency states such as acrodermatitis enteropathica are associated with a variety of skin manifestations, such as perioral, acral and perineal dermatitis. These syndromes can be reversed with systemic zinc repletion. In addition to skin pathologies which are clearly zinc-dependent, many dermatological conditions (e.g. dandruff, acne and diaper rash) have been associated and treated with zinc. Success rates for treatment with zinc vary depending on the disease, mode of application and zinc salt used. Usually, alternative modes of treatment are superior to zinc. Conclusions: Generally, it seems that with the exception of systemic deficiency states, there is very little evidence to convincingly demonstrate the efficacy of zinc as a first-line treatment for any dermatological conditions. Further research is needed in order to establish the indications for zinc treatment in dermatology, optimal mode of delivery, type of compound and therapeutic indexes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)205-210
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Dermatological Treatment
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 1 Jul 2006


    • Acne vulgaris
    • Acrodermatitis enteropathica
    • Acute cutaneous leishmaniasis
    • Chronic cutaneous ulcers
    • Dandruff
    • Diaper dermatitis
    • Recalcitrant viral warts
    • Zinc
    • Zinc deficiency

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Dermatology


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