Zinc for acne

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Zinc for acne

Why to use zinc for acne ? It is a mineral that makes skin healthy and eliminates the number of outbreaks that occur by keeping the production of hormones in equilibrium. This natural treatment can be used to treat your acne before trying stronger medications. To know how to use zinc, here are the best articles from the net that will show you different options of zinc for acne.

Zinc supplements could help with your fight with acne

What is Zinc?

Zinc for acneZinc is a metallic mineral and an essential micronutrient . Your body requires zinc daily, but can’t produce or store a supply of it’s own.

Zinc is found in abundance in oysters, beef, nuts and beans. The National Institute of Health has put together a list of foods and their zinc content [Table 2]. You can also search for any food’s nutrient content through the Nutrient Data Laboratory provided by the National Agricultural Library.

Zinc is associated with sexual function (possibly why oysters are considered an aphrodiasic), development, enzyme function, immune function and for the skin – control of inflammation.

Zinc and People with Acne

Acne vulgaris may be correlated with a zinc deficiency

There is some evidence that shows that people who have inflammatory skin diseases have lower levels of zinc in their body. Whether this deficiency arises from zinc being used to combat inflammation or that low zinc from the diet is one of the causes of inflammatory skin diseases is not yet known.

One study from India found that a study population with acne vulgaris showed a significantly lower level of zinc compared to a population of people who did not have acne.

The study also found that people who had psoriasis exhibited lower levels as well – those with larger areas of the body affected had lower levels of zinc.

This study isn’t definitive though, but there is some evidence showing that those with acne, who don’t have low levels of serum zinc, may have lower levels of zinc in their skin.

Studies have shown zinc supplementation improves acne

The majority of studies examining the effect of zinc on acne have focused on zinc sulphate. Results are mixed, some experiments showed statistically significant improvement in lesions [2]- specifically pustules with a smaller effect on infiltrates, papules and cysts. Other studies showed that zinc sulphate treatments were no better than a placebo [2], however there is the confound of seasonal changes in the severity of acne, which the researchers mentioned.

A newer form of zinc, zinc gluconate, has less research behind it, but is better assimilated by the body. It also causes less side-effects, such as nausea and stomach upset, than zinc sulphate. Zinc gluconate has been shown to reduce or reverse chemical changes in the skin caused by acne. Specifically, studies have shown that zinc gluconate was able to increase immune cell functioning in the skin, reduce inflammatory markers in the skin and also reduce the increase in growth hormones which occurs in acne lesions.

One study recommends a dose of 200 mg zinc gluconate per day, this study also showed that there was no benefit in “front-loading” zinc. Patients who were on a constant dose had the same benefits as those that started on a higher dose tapering to a smaller dose.

Zinc gluconate was shown to be 17% less effective as a common antibiotic, minocycline. However a double-blind study showed it was as effective as oxytetracycline. Another study showed that zinc gluconate supplementation was able to reduce bacterial adaptation to erythromycin, making the antibiotic more effective. The researchers recommended a daily 30 mg elemental zinc (in the form of zinc gluconate) supplement be combined with a topical erythromycin cream for best results.

And unlike some antibiotics commonly used to treat acne, such as doxycycline and tetracycline , zinc gluconate was shown to not increase photosensitivity, so it’s safe to use during the summer and times of sun exposure.

Should I Supplement?

Zinc for acneIf you’ve tried things like antibiotics or don’t want to – zinc supplementation may help improve your skin.

The extra “boost” of anti-inflammatory benefits and other skin chemistry changes could just be the push that allows your topical products to start working. If you’re not using anything on your skin, I would recommend you begin using a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid product.

A convenient benefit of zinc supplementation is that it affects all of your skin, this is especially beneficial for those who suffer from acne on harder to reach areas of the body, such as the back.

Zinc salts have been shown to be safe for pregnant women at doses below 75 mg a day, as well they found no issues with women who were breastfeeding while taking zinc.

Again it’s important to keep in mind that there is no 100% guaranteed cure for acne. Zinc may clear your skin completely, or it may just become a part of your acne regime. It may do nothing at all for you.

Am I deficient?

It’s likely that you aren’t. The average American man consumes about 14 mg of zinc a day, and the average American woman 9 mg. The US RDA recommends a daily intake of 11 mg for men and 8 for women, and sets the upper limit of safety at 40 mg of zinc a day (20 mg daily is the recommended maximum though).

A blood test can be performed which will assess the levels of zinc in your blood.

How much zinc?

Start off with a 200 mg zinc gluconate supplement (providing 30 mg zinc mineral) and assess your skin at the 1, 2 and 3 month mark.

Take a photo in the morning, before you’ve showered (the heat from the shower can make your lesions look worse than they are) to document your progress.

If there’s no improvement after 90 days perhaps – unfortunately – zinc supplements aren’t an effective method to treat your acne.

Zinc glycinate, zinc oxide, zinc picolate? Which one should I take?

Zinc comes in a multitude of forms and studies have shown that some of these are better absorbed than other. One study (with possible ties to the manufacturer) found that of the commonly available zincs; zinc sulfate, zinc glycinate, zinc lactate, zinc gluconate – zinc glycinate and zinc gluconate were best absorbed.

I would recommend using zinc gluconate as it has more research on its use for acne treatment.

Side-effects? Copper?

Zinc on an empty stomach can cause queasiness or dizziness, if you find this happening just take it with a meal.

Zinc can block the absorption of copper, so if you find yourself having success with treating your acne with zinc and are considering it longterm, it’d be wise to use a copper supplement at the opposite time of day you take your zinc. A recommended ratio of zinc to copper is 15 to 1.

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Is Zinc Good For Treating and Getting Rid Of Acne?

Zinc for acneWe are always reviewing and researching natural methods in the treatment of acne and other health related conditions to bring people a better and safer alternative to using medication.

There is much research on the effectiveness of using minerals and nutrients in the treatment of acne and other health conditions, but one such mineral, zinc, has been proven to be a better treatment method than using medication and over the counter products.

Diet and nutrition play an important part in your overall health and skin condition, but a scientific study conducted by a Dr Michaelsson on the effectiveness of taking zinc to treat acne has proved what we have always known, that natural can be as effective if not better than chemical based medications.

The study compared the effectiveness of antibiotic tetracycline preparation and zinc in terms of its effectiveness on getting rid of acne, and discovered that there was hardly any difference in the effectiveness of the substances.

He gave 135 mg of zinc per day to a group of 19 acne patients and 750 mg of tetracycline daily to a group of 18 patients. He reduced gradually tetracycline dose during the trial. After 12 weeks, both groups report a mean improvement in the skin of 70%.

« One of the nice things about zinc is that there are no known serious side effects in the doses we have used, » says Dr. Michaelsson. « Oral administration of zinc is definitely an option worth considering as an alternative to tetracycline for the treatment of patients with acne. »

The use of tetracycline does have a host of potential side effects among it users, that include: (source: www.drugwatch.com)

*Dizziness
*Headache
*Anemia
*Allergic reactions
*Kidney problems
*Liver problems
*Ulcers
*Serious skin conditions

In another study, Dr. Michaelsson used zinc along with large doses of vitamin A. He divided 64 acne patients into four groups.

Group 1 received 135 mg zinc per day

Group 2 were given Vitamin A per day

Group 3 received both zinc and vitamin A

Group 4 were given a harmless placebo.

After four weeks, the two groups receiving, respectively zinc alone and zinc with vitamin A, report a 65% improvement in their skin, while the two groups receiving either vitamin A alone or placebo, only to announce an improvement, respectively 30 and 15%. After 12 weeks there was on average a 85% improvement in the zinc group.

Another Swedish researcher, Dr. Lars Hill Ström, echoed Dr. Michael’s trial and got the same results. He gave 48 patients 90 mg of zinc daily and 43 patients a placebo. After 12 weeks, 75% of patients who received the zinc supplementation were reported to say, that they very happy with the therapeutic results.

« The treatment seems to be harmless, it is a convenient form of treatment, and there are very few side effects, » says Dr. Hill Ström and his colleagues.

None of the scientists interviewed, know exactly how zinc works in the treatment of acne. Dr. Michaelsson found out that the acne returned when the zinc treatment was stopped. His theory is that zinc can promote the release of vitamin A in the body and that it may have an inflammatory effect and that a zinc deficiency, can enlarge the sebaceous glands.

« Zinc deficiency seems to be more common in people than previously thought, and a daily intake below the recommended 15-20 mg are not uncommon. The diet of an average family in both Europe and America, have proved only to contain 47 mg of zinc.” says Dr. Michaelsson.

National Academy of Sciences agrees with him. « A recently published study that measured the content of zinc in food, with 20 volunteers who were self-selected over a period of six days, showed that on average, only 8.6 mg is contained in their daily diet, with some variations of between 6 to 12.4 mg per day. These findings underscore the need for careful dietary planning, if the recommended daily dose of 15 mg of zinc is to be achieved.”

Until now it has been found more than 70 enzymes that are dependent on zinc, and almost all metabolic processes are also there. The same goes for hormone production in the pituitary, thyroid, reproductive organs and pancreas.

Zinc is part of the enzymes, that promote the transportation and explore the development of carbon dioxide and amylase which converts starch into sugars.

The immune parent body, the thymus is dependent on zinc, as well as being a component of cellular respiration enzymes. Zinc is also essential for the utilization of iron and the formation of blood, normal functioning of the prostate and optimum utilization of vitamin A.

Zinc can be found in all cells, but has a particularly high concentration in the eyes, skin, hair, nails, brain, pituitary, adrenal glands, sex organs, thyroid, liver and kidneys.

RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of Zinc

Zinc for acneRecommended daily intake of zinc for adults:

Men: 9 mg
Women: 7 mg
Pregnant: 9 mg
Breastfeeding: 11 mg

The need varies with the particular age and gender.

Lack of zinc

In the absence of zinc, a number of problems can arise:

*Skin disorders such as psoriasis, eczema, blemishes, acne, slow healing of sores, dandruff, hair loss, white spots on nails, and ulcers on the shins.
*Mental states as apathy, irritability, depression, aggression and poor learning ability.
*Circulatory and blood diseases such as atherosclerosis, hypertension and anemia.
*Indigestion due to reduced production of digestive enzymes, stomach ulcers.
*Hormonal problems such as diabetes, sterility, impotence, decreased production of milk of lactating women, malformations of the fetus, disturbances in the development and growth, prostate problems, and menstrual difficulties.
*Impaired taste and smell ability, weight loss, fatigue, increased susceptibility to infections, impaired resistance to stress, certain kidney and liver problems, cancer and senility.

Foods with good sources of Zinc minerals.

Good sources of foods containing zinc include: seafood’s with oysters being the best, eggs, liver, lean organic beef, wheat germ, wheat bran, whole grains, brewer’s yeast, nuts, seeds, rice, peas, beets, carrots, seeds and grains from the pumpkin.

At times we feel it’s us against the man in bringing the truth about medications and why they are really there. The medical world and pharmaceutical companies who peddle these toxic health destroying medicines, have continually claimed that natural treatments play no part in treating health conditions and that medication is THE only way.

So when we discover that a Medical Doctors have gone against the grain so to speak, of his professional associates and agrees with the non medication way of thinking, it’s refreshing for us that we are not the only ones who believe in the natural path, with a medical doctor agreeing that there are better alternatives to medication.

It just shows that attitudes are changing amongst the medical fraternity.

Paying attention to your diet and nutrition can certainly help in the treatment of skin conditions and is a much better and safer alternative to using medications and brand name acne treatment products. If you want to get rid of acne and for good, then it has to begin on the inside and not just on the surface of your skin.

This one scientific study has made some ground in proving that you can deal with health conditions naturally without the use of chemical based medications.

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Think Zinc for Treating Acne

Zinc for acneWe’ve commented elsewhere on this site that zinc fights acne, oddly enough, by making the immune system weaker. Now we would like to tell you about a specific kind of zinc that works about 50 times better than any other. But first let’s review why zinc works for fighting acne.

Zinc for Fighting Inflammation

The value of using skin care products that contain zinc and supplements that contain zinc is reducing inflammation. In acne, it’s really not acne bacteria that cause the redness and swelling and itching and pain we associate with inflammation. (In some other skin infections, like impetigo, it really is the bacteria that do the damage.) In acne, the bacteria release chemicals called chemotaxins that redirect inflammation to healthy skin so the bacteria can escape.

The immune system can generate inflammation aimed at these chemotaxins even after acne bacteria are already dead. It’s as if the immune system doesn’t know that it’s really destroying healthy skin. Some dermatologists have even developed vaccines for fighting acne that work on the principle of reducing the immune system’s inflammatory response by exposing it to chemotaxins over and over again.

You don’t have to take a vaccine to reduce the inflammation your own white blood cells release to fight vaccine. You can take zinc. The way zinc tones down the reactivity of the immune system is by reducing the production of a stress hormone called corticotrophin releasing factor CRF. This helps clear up acne in a number of ways.

Zinc makes your skin less likely to break out when you are stressed because it is not making as much of the stress hormone CRF.
Zinc also stops growth signals that thicken the lining of pores and trap oil inside.
Zinc reduces the production of oil at the base of pores.
Zinc slows the release of histamine, which can inflame pores the same way it inflames your nose and throat when you have allergies.

All of these effects help clear up acne. And it turns out one form of zinc is a lot better than the others.

Zinc Ascorbate for Fighting Acne

The most effective form of zinc for fighting acne, it turns out, is a compound known as zinc ascorbate. The “ascorbate” part of the zinc ascorbate molecule is a high-pH form of ascorbic acid, better known as vitamin C.

Vitamin C absorbs free radicals of oxygen and keeps them from damaging tissues. In the skin, one of the most important jobs of vitamin C is to quench the free radicals of oxygen released when the skin is exposed to UV-B radiation from the sun. By absorbing these oxidizing agents it prevents inflammation of the skin. It’s not essential to use a sunblock that contains vitamin C because your diet should provide you enough C to avoid being especially prone to sunburn. But having enough vitamin C in your diet or at least on your skin helps stop sunburns before they start.

Vitamin C also absorbs some of the free radicals of oxygen that trigger the inflammatory reactions of acne. In this case, it actually downregulates the immune system. It keeps white blood cells from being activated to release the leukotrienes that can destroy cells in the skin.

The kind of vitamin C that literally sticks to your skin is ascorbyl palmitate. It works on your skin because it is not water-soluble. If you were to grind up vitamin C tablets (it’s been tried) and use them as face powder, you wouldn’t get any benefit because humidity in the air or perspiration on your skin would dissolve the C and rinse it away. You need about 5% ascorbyl palmitate in a skin cream (that you squeeze out of a tube rather than dip out of a jar, because the ascorbyl palmitate reacts with air) to get noticeable effects on acne.

Zinc for acneThe kind of zinc that is usually used in skin care products is zinc oxide. This form of zinc is better for blocking UV rays of the sun that it is for stopping other kinds of inflammation. Zinc ascorbate, however, interacts with the skin in ways that other forms of zinc cannot. Both the zinc and the ascorbate reduce inflammation. And Japanese scientists have discovered that a 0.064% solution of zinc ascorbate is as effective for relieving acne inflammation as a 5% solution of vitamin C or other forms of zinc. That’s 80 times more inflammation-fighting power than either zinc or vitamin C alone.

Where Can You Get Zinc Ascorbate?

Zinc ascorbate creams are relatively easy to get in China and India and relatively harder to find in the USA and the EU. In the United States and Canada, it’s easy to get a formulating pharmacy to make your own zinc ascorbate skin cream, although you may pay $10 to $50 for the labor involved. The cream itself should not cost more than $10 for a month’s supply.

Zinc ascorbate supplements are easy to find in the USA. Just look on Amazon and type in “zinc ascorbate.” If you are taking supplemental zinc for acne, this is the best form. But you will get better results from a cream than from a nutritional supplement.

There are some research studies that have found that zinc ascorbate is more effective than monocycline, clindamycin, and other antibiotics commonly prescribed for acne. Don’t stop taking your antibiotics for a more “natural” therapy overnight, however.

It is always best to confer with your physician before you stop taking any prescribed drug. Sometimes antibiotics kill all but the hardiest bacteria, and when you stop taking the antibiotic, the remaining resistant bacteria have a chance to multiply rapidly on your skin. Sudden discontinuation of antibiotics makes acne worse. Usually it is best to taper off your use of antibiotic over two or three weeks while you start using other methods of acne control.

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Hope you found enough informations to decide which form and how much zinc you shouhd use. Zinc for acne may help you in a natural way, you have nothing to loose trying it.

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