The role of zinc in the treatment of acne: A review of the literature

Jessica Cervantes, Ariel E. Eber, Marina Perper, Vanessa M. Nascimento, Keyvan Nouri, Jonette Keri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Acne vulgaris is a chronic disease of the pilosebaceous units presenting as inflammatory or noninflammatory lesions in individuals of all ages. The current standard of treatment includes topical formulations in the forms of washes, gels, lotions, and creams such as antibiotics, antibacterial agents, retinoids, and comedolytics. Additionally, systemic treatments are available for more severe or resistant forms of acne. Nevertheless, these treatments have shown to induce a wide array of adverse effects, including dryness, peeling, erythema, and even fetal defects and embolic events. Zinc is a promising alternative to other acne treatments owing to its low cost, efficacy, and lack of systemic side effects. In this literature review, we evaluate the effectiveness and side-effect profiles of various formulations of zinc used to treat acne.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12576
JournalDermatologic Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • acne
  • inflammatory disorders
  • systemic therapy
  • therapy topical
  • zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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