Clinical dermatology, cosmetic and surgical
Dr. Adrián Ogrodniczuk


Zinc and skin acrodermatitis enteropathica (AE) is a well-recognized entity caused by an inherited defect in zinc absorption causing hypozincemia

Publication date: 05/04/2014

Dres. Piyush Kumar, Niharika Ranjan, Ashim Kumar Mondal, Avijit Mondal, Ramesh C Gharami, Arunasis Maiti Dermatol Online J. 2012 Mar 15;18(3):1.

is has been recognized for some time the biological role of zinc in the human body, but it has been identified much later clinical deficiency of zinc. Zinc is an essential element that is an integral component of several metaloenzimas of the body and therefore participates in several biological functions. Zinc stabilizes cell membranes and protects their integrity by reducing the formation of free radicals and preventing lipid peroxidation.

Zinc is required for the function of the immune system. Aid in the synthesis of proteins, cellular reproduction, wound healing, and plays a major role in fertility and conception. Zinc supplementation had several uses in medicine including reduction in the duration of the malaria and the severity of respiratory diseases and diarrhea

Acrodermatitis enteropathica is classically occurs during childhood or in the weaning of breastfeeding to formula or cereal; these have lower bioavailability of zinc that the breast milk. The condition is characterized by the triad of dermatitis, diarrhea, and alopecia. However, only 20% of patients present with the 3 components at the same time.

Patients initially have perioral dermatitis erosive and cold sores, which are progressing to involve the face, parties acrales, and diaper area . Palmar erythema may occur, sometimes with scales o-rings. The extracutaneous involvement exists demonstration to the absorption of zinc and aggravate the condition. Photosensitivity is a frequent association.

What if a baby has erosive periorificial dermatitis dermatitis, alopecia, diarrhea and/or photosensitivity, should be considered the zinc deficiency. Sometimes, patients present with persistent skin infections (e.g. , candidiasis, paronychia, conjunctivitis and blepharitis), instead of the characteristic skin lesions.


Skin changes of zinc deficiency acquired (not inherited) are similar, usually milder than the inherited form. The lesions develop over a few days and is primarily located in areas periorificiales. The lesions are eczema, scaly plates that can develop vesicles, pustules or blisters. Presents the underlying skin erythema, and there may be 




The areas subjected to friction, such as the sides of the face, skin contact probes NG, and heels in bedridden patients develop similar injuries. Are common bacterial and fungal infections. The angular cheilitis is a common early manifestation followed by paronychia. In the absence of treatment the skin lesions are eroding and patients develop alopecia, and photophobia.




What does this article to the dermatological practice?. Zinc is an essential element that is an integral component of several metallo-enzymes of the body and acts at various biological functions. The clinical presentation of zinc deficiency varies and depends on the level of serum zinc. While a significantly low level of zinc causes features s

imilar to acrodermatitis enteropathica, hypozincemia mild appearance represents a less feature, so you can subdiagnosticarse. It requires the recognition of multiple skin lesions to suspect and identify cases of zinc deficiency. Although several laboratory tests are useful, the therapeutic response in suspected cases remains the gold standard of diagnosis. The estimation of the serum zinc alone is not very safe b

ecause the disease activity not necessarily correlates with the level of serum zinc


Zinc supplementation causes a rapid response and the skin lesions heal without permanent sequelae. However, the pigmentary abnormalities may persist longer. It should identify the predisposing factors and correct them.












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