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  5. Can Zinc Cure Acne, Control Excess Sebum & Prevent Pores?

Have you ever considered zinc for treating acne? While it is not used as a first-line of treatment for most dermatologic conditions, zinc supplements and topical zinc along with antibiotics are being used by a lot of people to cure acne. [1]

However, zinc usage is recommended only after consulting your doctor. Find out how it can help you bid adieu to those stubborn breakouts.

1. How Zinc Treats Acne?

A. Zinc Is Anti-Bacterial

Zinc kills the existing P.acne bacteria [2] and prevents its further development. It benefits people who have developed antibiotic resistance.

B. Zinc Controls The Production Of Excess Sebum

Zinc is a DHT-blocker (dihydrotestosterone or male sex hormone) that reduces the amount of sebum [3] the skin makes.

C. Zinc Is Anti-Inflammatory

Zinc controls inflammatory response by reducing activity in the skin's inflammation pathway, thus preventing swelling and redness associated with acne. [4]

D. Zinc Prevents Clogging Of Pores

Zinc regulates keratinocytes formation. Keratinocytes are cells that produce keratin (fibrous protein binding skin cells and hair strands) in the skin.

Keratinocytes form a barrier between skin and environmental aggressors. But excess production of keratinocytes can lead to blocked pores and acne. Zinc inhibits the production of excess keratinocytes [5].

When combined with alpha and beta hydroxy acids, zinc leads to exfoliation and apoptosis (natural cell death).

2. Zinc: Back To Basics

Zinc is one of the essential trace nutrients [6] that your body requires to keep the immune system in good shape. It is called a trace element because your body needs it in very small amounts. It wards off harmful microbes and keeps diseases at bay.

Zinc defiency leads to retarded growth, loss of appetite and damaged immune function.


Foods That Are Rich In Zinc:

  • Milk
  • Chicken
  • Curd
  • Crab
  • Beef
  • Oysters [7]
  • Cashew Nuts
  • Chickpeas

3. Oral Zinc Vs Topical Zinc

Consuming zinc in its oral form has been considered to be most effective for treating acne. However, high levels of zinc can pose side effects like nausea and vomiting. It is best to limit oral zinc supplements to not more than 30 mg per day.

The amount of zinc that can be taken orally depends on your age. [8] Thus, it is advised to consult a dermatologist before taking over-the-counter supplements as well as topical treatments.

Some Over-The-Counter Zinc Supplements Are Labelled As:

  • Zinc gluconate
  • Zinc acetate
  • Zinc sulfate

The effectiveness of zinc also depends on the bioavailability of the type of zinc. Bioavailability refers to the amount of drug that is absorbed into the bloodstream, for the right impact.

Zinc picolinate and zinc methionine are two forms of zinc with great bioavailability and hence, became the best options in treating acne.

Topical Zinc does not have adverse side effects, but is not as effective as oral zinc. Combining topical zinc with topical antibiotics for acne may be effective. If you develop an itch, rash or redness, consult your dermatologist.

4. How To Do A Patch Test Before Using A Topical Zinc Product?

1. Choose a small patch of your skin that is similar to the skin on your face.

2. Apply a small amount of the product and wait for 24 hours.

3. Check for adverse effects like redness, peeling and itching. If you find any of these, do not consider using the product on your face. If there are no adverse effects, you can start applying the zinc product on your face.

5. How Long Does It Take For Zinc To Work?

People with acne have many low-confidence days and are always on the lookout for an instant cure. But you have to give enough time for any skincare product to work on your skin. Give at least 12 weeks of time to spot visible differences from zinc treatment for acne.

6. Zinc: A Great Sunscreen Too

Zinc oxide is used in sunscreens due to its ability to protect the skin from harmful UV-B rays. Unlike other sunscreens that require a minimum of 20 min to work, you can step out immediately after applying a zinc sunscreen.

Besides, zinc sunscreens (also called mineral sunscreens) are lighter in texture and extremely safe to use.

Are you going to consider this safe and cost-effective treatment for your acne? Do let us know about your experience with zinc in the comments section below.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin

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