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One of the most popular and long term cures for acne can be found amongst your vitamin stash. Many associate zinc with fighting colds and flu because of its immune boosting properties. However, zinc is also known to aid the production and healing of tissues, especially skin. Because of this and other benefits, it has been hailed as a powerful acne treatment.
How Zinc Works
Zinc operates on multiple levels in acne treatment. Predominantly it aids in tissue regeneration and healing, which is ultimately needed to give blemishes and scarring the boot. Doctors even associate a deficiency in zinc with wounds healing slowly. Zinc is believed to help control the production of oil in the skin. Some forms of acne are related to hormonal imbalances and the overproduction of testosterone. Doctors believe that zinc aids in balancing these hormones and in doing so prevents acne outbreaks.
How to Take Zinc
Zinc is a mineral that is found naturally in oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, certain types of seafood, whole grains and fortified cereals. Those interested in its acne treatment benefits can easily up their intake with a supplement but need to be very careful about the dosage they consume. You should not consume more than 40 mg of zinc per day in both dietary sources and supplements. Stomach problems such as diarrhea, stomach cramping and indigestion can accompany using too much zinc to treat acne.
Experts advise that those using any supplements check all of them for zinc content—it is added to multivitamins and cold and flu remedies— because of the dangers of overuse. Intakes higher than 150 mg have been associated with decreased levels of copper, reduced immune function and reduced levels of HDL cholesterol, or the ‘good’ cholesterol. Zinc may also interfere with the absorption of magnesium from food.
Zinc is also added some to creams and lotions to help reduce breakouts because of its direct impact on easing inflammation. There are products for zinc acne treatment available over-the-counter with the mineral already added, including Triaz, a family of prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide - based acne medications. A pharmacist, doctor or dermatologist should be able to advise how to add zinc to a skincare regimen.
Evidence of Zinc's Effectiveness
Several studies confirm that zinc dramatically improves acne symptoms. Some studies even suggest that zinc acne treatment is more effective then the drug tetracycline. While its success has been hailed, it is important for acne sufferers to remember it will take at least a month or two to show significant results. If your reason for acne is a zinc deficiency it is important to remember that upping the intake of this mineral will treat underlying causes, meaning it will take time to work effectively.
While it is important for people turning to a zinc acne treatment to watch their doses and be patient, the benefits of zinc are its relative affordability and impressive long term affects. Zinc also has the added benefit promises of promoting the healing your skin will need to improve post acne.