Does Acne Zinc Work?
Zinc is a mineral that can be found in foods like lamb, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, cocoa powder, cashews, kefir, yogurt, mushrooms, spinach and chicken.
And according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the nutrient is important for aspects of the body such as the immune system, reproduction, growth, taste, vision, smell, blood clotting, insulin function and thyroid function, as well as having antioxidant properties.
But will there be benefits of zinc for acne?
Have you ever heard of mineral use in treating acne cases? Does using zinc for acne bring any kind of positive result to the condition?
The University of Maryland Medical Center reported that some studies have already suggested that the use of oral mineral supplements may help improve an acne condition. However, the agency has a few caveats: Most research has used a high dose of zinc, which could have toxic effects, and not all of these studies have found any kind of benefit.
On the other hand, the center said there is some evidence that a topical version of zinc, used alongside a topical antibiotic called Erythromycin, may bring some kind of contribution in this regard.
- See more: Benefits of Zinc - For what it serves and sources.
Another point of view
Dermatologist Cynthia Bailey also gave her opinion on the effects of zinc for acne. She talked about an issue of Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (Journal of Medicines in Dermatology, free translation) that presented the results of a study that analyzed ancient medical studies related to the use of zinc for acne.
The author of the work in question evaluated what research on the subject was of good quality and came to the conclusion that there is evidence that zinc can collaborate yes regarding the cases of acne.
According to Bailey, the way the nutrient works has not yet been clarified, however, it is known that it can help kill the acne-causing bacteria, reduce the redness and inflammation of the lesions caused by the condition and decrease the production of oil on the skin.
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The dermatologist also explained that the amount of mineral needed to get positive results is relatively low in her view. Bailey reported that most of the medical studies used a daily dose of 200 mg of zinc gluconate, which correspond to 30 mg of elemental zinc (which is the pure mineral).
Even considering this low amount and stating that it can be well tolerated, the doctor stressed that the content may still cause some side effects such as stomach discomfort, nausea and vomiting.
The doctor also warned that high doses of the mineral may still bring other problems such as increased risk of developing prostate cancer, decreased immunity and reduced levels of good cholesterol, which is also known as HDL.
The ideal daily dosage of zinc
Women need 12 mg of zinc a day, while men need 15 mg of the mineral daily. Pregnant women should also take 15 mg of the nutrient each day, and women who breastfeed need to ingest 19 mg of zinc daily.
The National Institutes of Health of the United States establish that zinc toxicity starts from a daily intake of 35 mg to 40 mg of the mineral.
In addition to the problems already presented by dermatologist Cynthia Bailey, zinc consumption beyond the limit can cause diarrhea and decreased urine output (which is the amount of urine the kidneys eliminate in a given time).
There is also the risk of heavy metal poisoning, which causes symptoms such as drowsiness, metallic taste in the mouth, low blood pressure, difficulty breathing and shock.
According to the National Institutes of Health of the United States, consumption of 150 mg to 450 mg of zinc per day may block the body's ability to absorb copper, which is important for the development of bone and nerve cells and the use of sugar and of the mineral iron.
Zinc care for acne
The best way to know if zinc supplementation for acne can actually work is by consulting with a good dermatologist who will evaluate your case and can determine the best form of treatment and whether the mineral really can help.
Even because we can not guarantee that only the use of a zinc supplement can solve the problem of acne. Each case has its own particularities, which must be evaluated by a trained physician.
If you are already consulting with a professional, it is also essential to talk to him before starting to use a zinc supplement. And not only to make sure that it can even aid your treatment, because the product may interact with medications that are used to treat acne.
For women who are pregnant or breastfeeding their babies, it is recommended to talk to the doctor before starting to make use of a zinc supplement to treat acne. This is important for the woman to know if it is safe for her and her baby.
In all cases, the physician's help is also important so that there is no excessive intake of zinc that will cause the problems mentioned in the previous topic.
It is also recommended to follow a healthy diet before resorting to dietary supplements. Foods are healthier than these products and they bring many other health benefits.
Thus, food tips that serve as a source of the mineral within the diet are: beans, nuts, oysters and lean red meat, plus various fruits and vegetables.
The milk is also composed of zinc. However, there is growing evidence that drinking increases acne.