To continue on the same vein as last week, we are discussing alternate acne treatments. When medications or skin care products don’t seem to work, people often turn to other options, such as zinc supplements. One particular question Dr. Bailey is often asked from her patients and blog readers is
“Do zinc supplements really work to get rid of acne?”
In her practice, Dr. Bailey uses her Foaming Zinc Cleanser for body acne or acne caused by pityrosporum yeast as she details in her original blog post How to Get Rid of Back Acne (Bacne). However, the same rules do not necessarily always apply when it comes to treatment with supplement.
In order to help clear up this question of the zinc supplements and acne connection, Dr. Bailey turned to the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. Dr. Bailey found a systematic review of several studies concerning zinc supplements and acne efficacy in a past edition of the journal. She summarizes the conclusions of the article in her blog post Zinc Treatment for Acne. Overall, there is evidence to support that zinc does help acne.
“…my favorite product is the Extra Strength Foaming Acne Treatment Cleanser.“
“I’m old, so I don’t get acne anymore (ok, maybe one blemish a year), but my favorite product is the Extra Strength Foaming Acne Treatment Cleanser.
I do have blackheads if I don’t use this cleanser at least once a day. The Glycolic and Salicylic Acids keep my skin clear of blackheads, and it is not too harsh for my mature skin. I wish that I had had this product fifteen or more years ago.” Jane C 7/1/14
How Do Zinc Supplements and Acne Work?
The exact mechanism is unclear, but zinc may have the ability to:
- Help kill P. acnes bacteria
- Decrease inflammation and redness from acne
- Reduce skin oil production
Only a low dosage is needed to be effective, approximately 30mg elemental zinc. However, zinc nutritional supplements come in a mixed format. The majority of studies reviewed in the journal used zinc gluconate at 200 mg per a day dose. This usually contains the necessary 30mg of elemental zinc. There may be some side effects such as nausea, upset stomach, and vomiting.
Should You Take Supplements to Treat Acne?
There is no clear cut answer, but Dr. Bailey wants you to consider the following questions to evaluate if it is the right method for you.
- Do you get the same amount of zinc in your diet already?
- Are zinc supplements the best way to treat acne?
- Are zinc supplements safe for pregnant or breast-feeding women?
- What are the dangers of using zinc supplements?
- What are the safe levels for zinc supplements and acne?
“I love my Clarisonic – I want to marry it!“
“I had some blackheads on my hairline and I admit I’m lazy, but now w/ the Clarisonic they’re gone. I’m working on my nose now. It’s the best thing I’ve bought for myself in a long time.” Susan B, Windsor CA
If you would like to know Dr. Bailey’s guidance for these series of questions read her original blog here. Also Dr. Bailey always stresses that you should discuss these questions with your doctor who knows how your body systems work best.
If you have found theses zinc supplements and acne tips helpful, please show your thanks by commenting on, sharing, liking, adding to Google+, tweeting, and pinning this post with friends and family. You can do this by using the social sharing buttons above and below this blog post.
Sincerely, Dr. Bailey Skin Care Team