We have all heard about the wonders of vitamin and various other food supplements for a better skincare regime. Vitamin E and A, vitamin B complex, probiotics, selenium, etc. have all been known to provide a perfectly smooth and glowing skin. But how long have you heard about zinc for acne? Does it work? How can you use it against acne?
You fill find research-backed, actionable answers to all these questions in this post. So, make sure to read it to the end.
A Quick Zinc Introduction
Zinc is normally present in human body, aiding in functioning and regularizing the cellular reactions. It is important for the maintenance of different systems and killing certain disease-causing bacteria and viruses.
It plays a cardinal role in building protein unit and making DNA. In addition to immune function, zinc takes part in numerous important biological processes which are essentially normal day-to-day body need.
It helps in wound closure, formation of a blood clot, sense of taste, thyroid function, cell growth, plays an important role in vitamin A formation etc.
Zinc has been praised in numerous studies as a natural treatment aid for acne.
It is not only useful for an acne free skin but also the daily dose for zinc is roughly around 30mg. But this daily requirement must be fulfilled in an elemental form, not in a chelated form.
When zinc is chelated with some other compound in a supplement then we get lesser amount absorbed because the rest is bound to some other element (gluconate for example).
Also, the daily requirement not necessarily has to be taken in one go, it should be done in parts throughout the day.
According to National Institute of Health requirement in an adult male and female, for zinc, is 11mg and 8mg respectively. If zinc is taken as a supplement then ideally speaking it should be taken 1 hr prior to the meal.
But there are instances reported where the supplements can cause stomach upset and in such situations, it should be taken with the meal.
A proper healthcare professional should be asked before taking zinc through any exogenous medications.
Why Zinc is Effective Against Acne
- The foremost reason would be that zinc destroys the bacteria which cause acne. It necessarily kills them.
- It helps in absorption for other elements which cure acne, vitamin E for example!
- Maintains hormonal balance.
- Zinc is an anti-oxidant, hence it help us in getting rid of free radicals which cause acne.
- It diminishes the inflammatory reactions in the body and hence provides acne free environment.
Zinc and Antibiotics For Treating Acne Vulgaris – What Researches Tell Us
Minocycline is a known antibiotic used for the treating acne vulgaris. It’s efficacy in reducing acne in the test subjects was 60%. However, because of the undesirable side effect, i.e. pigmentation and higher cost; it could not be successfully used.
In a recent study, zinc and minocycline were compared for their efficacy in acne removal. In this study, Zinc (zinc gluconate) was introduced as a possible substitute for the treatment of acne vulgaris. Minocycline had a superior 9% efficacy at one month interval and both minocycline and zinc had similar adverse effectsmanifesting as gastrointestinal upset and eventual a few dropouts. But zinc was proposed as the possible alternate in treating inflammatory acne lesions.
In a very tempting predisposition, one might incline towards using antibiotics as a replacement therapy, for acne. So, what’s the cause behind not using antibiotics most frequently? Why there is a need of finding a substitute for antibiotic in acne treatment? Why are we not relying on the efficacy of antibiotics alone, if at all?
In a quest for answering these entire questions one has to look into the background of use and abuse of antibiotics since their early advent era.
- The antibiotics treat bacteria well, there is no doubt about that, but as a complication our natural and sometimes useful bacteria and flora get adversely affected.
- We lose some of our beneficial gut flora, resulting in misbalances of our natural immunity.
- Also its use leads to development of some of the resistant species of bacteria which, due to overuse of antibiotics, become irresponsive to the medications and pose serious threat.
So, zinc can be used as a , slightly less effective though, but with all its dietary benefits in treating acne. And as a bonus all the serious side effects of antibiotics can be circumvented.
Best Zinc Food Sources to Fight Acne
Zinc can be found in:
- Poultry (chicken)
- Leafy veggies (spinach)
- Watermelon seeds
- Cocoa powder
Addtional Health Benefits of Zinc
Zinc, as a mineral, is of great significance and value. Due to minute amounts required, it is often a neglected dietary element. Inadequate levels of zinc (due to dietary deficiency) in our body may lead to hair loss, diarrhea, loss of appetite, skin eruptions, weak immunity so on and so forth. Zinc is co-factor in human GIT, which means it helps in absorbing essential nutrients from the gut in to the blood. Lack of zinc can cause loss or inability to digest certain proteins and other foods.
Who is Prone to Zinc Deficiency?
Zinc deficiency can affect anyone around the globe. The lack of zinc in the human body is not just limited to the lack of dietary intake, but also may occur from certain malabsorption syndromes. People who are prone to zinc deficiency include:
- Patients who are on dialysis.
- Persons suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis.
- People with conditions that prevent them from absorbing nutrients.
(Picture Credit: https://draxe.com/zinc-deficiency/)
How Will You Know that Your Body Lacks in Zinc?
There are certain signs by which you can judge a possible zinc deficiency. They are:
Zinc performs really well with proteins and enzymes in our body. One of the main function of those enzymes in digestion. When our body gets deficient in zinc, one might face diarrhea, vomiting as a consequence.
Delayed Wound Healing:
Zinc deficiency makes you prone for delayed wound healing and one might get bruised quite easily as a result. If that is the case, you should consider adding more zinc laden foods in your diet to overcome zinc insufficiency: yogurt etc.
You exercise and then, as a result, you get sore muscle aches which stay too long sometimes even over a day, then you need to check your zinc levels.
The Sense of Taste Will be Abnormal:
Zinc plays a major role in regularizing taste receptors. If you feel that your sense of taste is altered then it might be because of lower than normal levels of zinc.
Weakened Immune Responses:
If you get sick a lot and for longer durations routinely, then consult a doctor and get your zinc levels checked.
Lack of zinc can cause concentration issues, where you cannot keep a steady focus while working or doing a task. Studies have shown improved focus when zinc supplements were given to the subjects.
Messed up Vision:
The eye health is dependent on a vitamin A. It is due to vitamin A our eyes adapt quite easily in dark, and adjust the focus accurately. Zinc plays a key role in vitamin A transport, absorption, and utilization. And its insufficiency can lead to impaired vision at night.
(Picture credits: https://pixabay.com/)
Zinc work as a potential cure for acne, which is also our topic of the day. Zinc works well when used in treating acne, probably because of its properties of maintain metabolism and reducing inflammatory responses throughout the body including skin.
Gels and Lotions Containing Zinc For Acne Treatment:
As a possible alternative for oral zinc supplements, there are several gels and lotions available for topical application. The reason that these gels and lotions did not gain much popularity is their unaesthetic effect. They cause whitish tint on facial skin whenever applied. So, the best possible way to get zinc from an exogenous source is food rich in zinc or zinc supplement tablets.
How do you fight against your acne breakouts? What is your diet typically consisted of? Share your thoughts in the comments below!