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Does Zinc Impact Inflammatory Disease Outcomes?

Zinc supplementation appears to have some beneficial effects on certain inflammatory skin disease, such as acne vulgaris and hidradenitis suppurativa, according to the findings of a recent study.

“Zinc has been used in patients with acne vulgaris for its anti-inflammatory effects; however, it is unclear if zinc supplementation is also beneficial in other inflammatory skin conditions,” the researchers said. They searched Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, EMBASE, MEDLINE, and Ovid databases for trials that examined the use of zinc supplementation in the treatment of dermatologic conditions. A total of 22 trials that included adult and pediatric patients with acne vulgaris, atopic dermatitis, diaper dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurativa, psoriasis, and rosacea were included in the study.
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Zinc supplementation was found to be beneficial in 10 of 14 studies on acne vulgaris, 1 of 2 studies on atopic dermatitis, the one study on diaper dermatitis, and all 3 studies on hidradenitis suppurativa, the researchers said. However, the researchers found zinc did not significantly benefit psoriasis or rosacea disease outcomes.

“Some preliminary evidence supports the use of zinc in the treatment of acne vulgaris and hidradenitis suppurativa; however, more research is needed with similar methodologies and larger sample sizes in these diseases,” the researchers concluded. “Further, zinc may be of some benefit in the treatment plan for atopic dermatitis and diaper dermatitis; however, additional studies should be conducted to further evaluate these potentially positive associations.”

“To date, no evidence is available to suggest that zinc may be of benefit in rosacea and psoriasis; however, limited data are available evaluating the use of zinc in these conditions,” they added.


Dhaliwal S, Nguyen M, Vaughn AR, Notay M, Chambers CJ, Sivamani RK. Effects of zinc supplementation on inflammatory skin diseases: A systematic review of the clinical evidence [published online November 19, 2019]. Am J Clin Dermatol. doi:10.1007/s40257-019-00484-0


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