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Zinc for acne: is it beneficial?

Zinc for acne: is it beneficial?
Zinc for acne: is it beneficial?

Are you wondering about, Is there any benefit to using zinc for acne? Zinc is one of the many minerals your body needs to function properly. Many important processes in the body rely on zinc, which is a very common mineral. 

It protects your immune system against acne-causing bacteria and harmful cells. Although acne comes in many forms, the most common is acne on the surface of the skin. Puberty is often the time when people suffer from acne, but anyone can get it. 

This article aims to explain how to use zinc for acne treatment? It will also discuss the risks and benefits of zinc.

Symptoms of Acne

Acne results from an overproduction of sebum, an oily substance produced by the skin.

The following symptoms characterize acne:

  • Blackheads: Dark blemishes on the face.
  • Whiteheads: The skin’s surface is covered with tiny white bumps.
  • Papules: Small red bumps on the skin.
  • Pustules: Small, red bumps filled with pus.
  • Nodules: Large lumps under the skin.

Zinc for acne

Zinc belongs to the group of essential minerals that the body needs to perform some important functions. Following are some of them,

  • Zinc can be used to treat acne.
  • Child and adolescent growth
  • Healing wounds
  • Activation of enzymes
  • Functioning of the immune system
  • cell division
  • Protein synthesis and DNA synthesis

You can use zinc-containing medications to treat acne. They can either be taken orally, or they can be applied topically.

Additionally, zinc can be added to the diet by modifying the diet or supplementing with it.

Topical medications

The most common topical treatments are pastes, gels, and creams. Acne-affected areas of the skin can be treated with these products.

The following topical medications contain zinc:

  • zinc sulphate
  • zinc octoate
  • zinc acetate

Oral medications

Sometimes acne affects large areas of the skin or hard-to-reach body parts. In such cases, topical treatment may not be feasible.

Oral medications are much easier to administer than injections. Usually, oral medications are given to patients in the form of tablets or capsules.

The following are some common zinc-based oral medications:

  • zinc sulphate
  • zinc salts
  • zinc gluconate

Dietary changes

It is possible to increase zinc intake through dietary changes. Some foods that contain zinc include:

  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Poultry and red meat
  • Products made from milk
  • Grains and fortified cereals for breakfast
  • Some seafood, such as lobster

Zinc is easier for the body to absorb from animal sources than from certain plant sources. Some plants and grains contain substances called phytates that inhibit zinc absorption.

You can also take dietary supplements to increase your zinc intake. Several dietary supplements include zinc as a multivitamin, while others contain only zinc.

Benefits and Risks of zinc

Zinc-based medications are effective in treating acne. Researchers report that zinc gluconate that is taken orally can alleviate acne symptoms. However, overdosing on zinc can be harmful due to its toxicity in higher doses. Some zinc toxicity symptoms include:

  • muscle cramps
  • Hematemesis, which is blood in the vomit
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain

In case you have sensitive skin, it is recommended that you use topical zinc-based treatments with caution.

Summary

Some studies suggest zinc can be used to treat acne. Unfortunately, such treatments may be associated with some risks.

People who wish to use zinc-based medications or increase their zinc intake should first consult with a healthcare provider.

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