Acne is one of the most common problems of all skin diseases.
Antibiotics are often used in its treatment, but are not always effective.
Zinc supplementation, alone or in combination with antibiotics, might be effective to treat acne, according to a study published in the European Journal of Dermatology.
One of the causes of acne is the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes.
Antibiotics reduce acne via their anti-bacterial effects. However, bacteria have slowly become resistant to antibiotics over the past decades.
The mineral zinc has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects and boosts antioxidant enzyme systems.
These properties can be of beneficial in the treatment of acne.
The researchers wanted to study the effect of zinc on acne.
They enrolled 20 subjects in the study. All subjects suffered from acne and used topical antibiotics in the past year.
The subjects were instructed to take capsules containing 30 mg of zinc glyconate daily, for a total of two months.
The researchers took bacterial samples of the subject´s acne during the study. They tested if the bacteria were resistant to antibiotics or not.
Then, they added antibiotics and various amount of zinc to the bacteria. They tested if zinc reduced the amount of antibiotics needed to control the bacteria.
The researchers found that zinc supplementation reduced the inflammatory acne lessions by 57.3%.
Zinc was effective whether the subject’s bacteria were antibiotic resistant or not. In addition, the found that antibiotics worked more effectively better when zinc was added.
The researchers concluded that zinc is effective in the treatment of acne.
In addition, they suggest that a combination of zinc with traditional used antibiotics might be interesting.