Severe zinc deficiency states, such as acrodermatitis enteropathica, are associated with a variety of skin manifestations, such as perioral, acral, and perineal dermatitis. These syndromes can be reversed with systemic zinc repletion. In addition to skin pathologies that are clearly zinc-dependent, many dermatologic conditions (eg, dandruff, acne, and diaper rash) have been associated and treated with zinc. Success rates for treatment with zinc vary greatly depending on the disease, mode of administration, and precise zinc preparation used. With the exception of systemic zinc deficiency states, there is little evidence that convincingly demonstrates the efficacy of zinc as a reliable first-line treatment for most dermatologic conditions. However, zinc may be considered as an adjunctive treatment modality. Further research is needed to establish the indications for zinc treatment in dermatology, optimal mode of zinc delivery, and best type of zinc compound to be used.
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