Zinc on the Skin for Acne
Acne sufferers can choose from a wide array of over-the-counter products and medications in an effort to defeat their pimples. But many of these products cause side effects, such as skin irritation, chapping and dryness. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, there's some evidence that using zinc ointment on the skin for acne may help clear those pimples without as many side effects.
Pimples appear due to blockages in your skin's pores, according to the website MayoClinic.com. Most people, especially those between the ages of 12 and 24, get acne, which can occur due to hormonal changes in your body. Once you have blocked pores, bacteria can grow in those pores and elsewhere on your face, potentially leading to infection and painful, swollen bumps.
To stop your pimples, you need to interrupt the cycle of blocked pores and bacterial infection. Zinc ointment functions as an antiseptic, which means it can help to kill bacteria on your skin's surface, according to the website Drugs.com. It also can help dull the pain from swollen pimples and will decrease moisture in the affected area, which can help dry the excess oil from your skin.
It's easy to use zinc ointment on your acne: just spread a thin layer over the entire affected area, according to Drugs.com. However, it may be best to do this at night, since zinc ointment generally remains very visible on your skin for an extended period of time. Also, you won't be able to apply makeup over the ointment. It's possible, but very unlikely, to get a severe allergic reaction from zinc ointment.
According to the University of Maryland, zinc in both the oral form and topical form might help your acne. Topical zinc combined with the antibiotic erythromycin potentially may effectively treat pimples, the university said. However, there's no research to compare zinc ointment with other, more common topical acne treatments, such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.
Conventional topical acne treatments that include benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can clear your acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. If you're looking for an alternative, zinc ointment most likely won't cause any side effects, but if it doesn't work, your acne could worsen. You may want to discuss this approach with your dermatologist.
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