How Do I Choose the Best Skin Zinc?

Kathleen Howard
Kathleen Howard
Skin zinc can be used to treat vitiligo.
Skin zinc can be used to treat vitiligo.

Zinc is a mineral commonly used to treat a wide range of skin conditions. To choose the best skin zinc, select a product according to the type of zinc it contains. There are several types of zinc used in topical solutions, including zinc oxide, zinc pyrithione and zinc undecylenate. While different types of zinc can sometimes be used for the same purpose, certain conditions are most effectively treated with a specific form. In addition to choosing the most beneficial ingredients, select the best application method for your condition, whether that be a lotion, spray or another type of product.

Zinc pyrithione is used in dandruff shampoos.
Zinc pyrithione is used in dandruff shampoos.

One of the most common forms of skin zinc is zinc oxide. This mineral is a natural sunblock used in many cosmetics, lotions and sunscreens. Due to its soothing properties, zinc oxide is also used to treat diaper rash, skin irritation, burns and hemorrhoids. Many people also find this type of skin zinc effective in the treatment of acne, dermatitis, rosacea and psoriasis. For the best results, choose a moisturizing zinc lotion, powder or suppository designed for your specific condition.

Zinc supplements can be used to treat eczema.
Zinc supplements can be used to treat eczema.

Zinc pyrithione is another type of zinc frequently included in skincare products. This form is typically used as a fungicide, antibacterial and antiseborrheic, which means it slows the growth of skin cells. When included in shampoo, zinc pyrithione is an effective treatment for dandruff. A zinc spray or lotion can also be used to treat seborrhoeic dermatitis, acne, psoriasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, tinea and vitiligo. To choose the best skin zinc to treat these conditions, look for one that contains zinc pyrithione.

A zinc spray containing pyrithione can be used to treat athlete's foot.
A zinc spray containing pyrithione can be used to treat athlete's foot.

Another type of skin zinc that can be used to treat fungal infections, like athlete's foot and jock itch, is zinc undecylenate. Zinc undecylenate is available in both powder and cream form. To treat athlete’s foot and jock itch, zinc undecylenate might be most beneficial when used in its powder form. Zinc undecylenate powder will soothe the area, while absorbing moisture and preventing further irritation. Lotion is generally more effective in the treatment of ringworm, as it tends to absorb easier into the skin.

Zinc oxide can effectivley treat rosacea and psoriasis.
Zinc oxide can effectivley treat rosacea and psoriasis.

A few other types of zinc are also effective when used topically. As a liquid solution, zinc sulphate can be used to treat eye irritation and prevent infection. Zinc citrate is commonly used in toothpaste and mouthwash to prevent the accumulation of plaque. Several other forms of zinc are available in capsule or pill form to supplement a person’s diet and treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis from inside the body.

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Discussion Comments

fBoyle

@SarahGen-- I'm not sure, but zinc pyrithione may be more beneficial for psoriasis or other types of dermatitis than rosacea.

I used a skin zinc pyrithione cream once for my rosacea but I don't remember that it made any difference. It certainly didn't reduce my redness. But it did soothe my skin a little bit. Since this type of zinc is also used for dandruff, it might work for skin conditions that cause flaking or scales on skin. So it might work for psoriasis but it's a good idea to ask a doctor about this first.

SarahGen

Has anyone tried zinc pyrithione cream for rosacea? I heard that it may be beneficial but I don't know how common it is to use this type of zinc for rosacea.

discographer

I use a cream with zinc oxide sometimes for acne. The cream I use is also used for diaper rash but it isn't labeled specifically for that. I buy it from the pharmacy.

I discovered zinc cream for acne a few years ago and have been using it since. It dries out pimples and helps them heal faster. It's very soothing for skin and reduces oil. I love it.

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    • Skin zinc can be used to treat vitiligo.
      Skin zinc can be used to treat vitiligo.
    • Zinc pyrithione is used in dandruff shampoos.
      Zinc pyrithione is used in dandruff shampoos.
    • Zinc supplements can be used to treat eczema.
      Zinc supplements can be used to treat eczema.
    • A zinc spray containing pyrithione can be used to treat athlete's foot.
      A zinc spray containing pyrithione can be used to treat athlete's foot.
    • Zinc oxide can effectivley treat rosacea and psoriasis.
      Zinc oxide can effectivley treat rosacea and psoriasis.
    • Ringworm is a fungal infection that may be treated with zinc pyrithione.
      Ringworm is a fungal infection that may be treated with zinc pyrithione.