Zinc is like a 24-hour, on-call skin mechanic that helps repair damaged tissues and heal wounds. It is specially effective for skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and acne.
What is Zinc?
Zinc or spelter is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. The alchemist Paracelsus probably named the element after the German word Zinke. German chemist Andreas Sigismund Marggraf is normally given credit for discovering pure metallic zinc in 1746.
Zinc's Benefits for Skin
Zinc is like a 24-hour, on-call skin mechanic. It helps repair damaged tissues and heal wounds. Research suggests that zinc might be particularly effective in treating topical irritations and injuries, such as acne, skin sores and minor wounds, by helping cells to regenerate (sources: American Academy of Family Physicians, TeensHealth).
Zinc's potential advantages for your skin include the following:
Acne: Using zinc topically has shown potential in preventing and alleviating the inflammation and scarring associated with acne. Zinc may help nip acne in the bud by reducing the amount of natural oil, or sebum, produced in the skin. It may also help heal damaged skin around acne that does develop. Some research has indicated that acne formation results in part from a lack of zinc in the diet (source: Bouchez)
Scalp conditions: Dandruff and some fungal infections of the scalp have been shown to respond to the use of shampoos containing zinc (source: MedlinePlus).
Diaper Rash: Zinc also helps prevent and heal diaper rash (source: MedlinePlus).
Another important use for zinc includes protecting skin from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Recently, researchers have begun conducting further investigations into the anti-cancerous benefits of zinc by looking at how it may help prevent skin cancer recurrence in cancer patients. Studies have also shown that zinc may aid in the treatment of several other skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis and burns.