Zinc Oxide and Skin Integrity

The skin is the largest organ in the human body, and it contains around one fifth of the body’s total zinc content, with the highest concentration being in the outermost layer of skin (epidermis)*.  Zinc is essential for growth, tissue maintenance, immune function, and wound healing*.  Systemic zinc deficiency may be associated with older age, especially in individuals with a poor diet and those who suffer with morbidities such as chronic wounds or dermatological conditions* .

Topical zinc has been used in the treatment of wounds for over 3,000 years and is reported to have antiseptic, astringent, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and wound healing properties.  Nowadays, topical zinc oxide is predominantly used to treat chronic wounds and dermatological conditions and when applied has been shown to reduce red, irritated skin, reduce wound debris, improve healing rates, promote epithelialisation, and to have anti-oxidant, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial actions*.

Zinc oxide is particularly helpful in managing skin conditions and leg ulcerations as it provides a protective barrier, reduces inflammation, and creates a moist wound healing environment where the skin integrity has been lost*.

*Refer to the reading list