Zinc is an essential micronutrient with a multitude of important biological functions. While about 50% of our body’s zinc is in the bones, approximately 6% is contained in the skin. Zinc is a mineral that has been used as a therapeutic ingredient for many years. When applied to the skin, zinc acts like a barrier, stimulates wound healing and is thought also to possess anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.
In patients with mild-to-moderate psoriasis, an emollient containing 0.25% zinc pyrithione was compared with an emollient cream without zinc pyrithione when used twice daily for a period of 3 months. In that study, both emollients improved psoriasis, but the zinc-containing emollient was shown to be more effective than the control1.
Further, zinc oxide ointment applied twice daily for 21 days has been found effective in relieving the inflammation caused by the rubbing of one skin area against another2.
The concentration of an ingredient is important for its efficacy, and therefore products containing the same ingredient may not necessarily have the same effect as in the studies mentioned above.
Updated: July 2017