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January 1980

The Zinc Compound Test

Arch Dermatol. 1980;116(1):39-40. doi:10.1001/archderm.1980.01640250041012

A common cliché that many of you no doubt recall from more studious yesteryears deals with that popular laboratory procedure, the sink test. By way of a questionable pun, many dermatologists have developed the impression that therapy with zinc compounds should be similarly regarded.

The purpose of this editorial is to examine an aliquot part of current information regarding zinc metabolism and therapy that may give us an objective look at the past and, perhaps, some direction for the future.

We have gone through other eras of trace-element physiology and have gradually come to recognize the rather specific requirements, for example, for iron and iodine as well as their deficiency syndromes. Now it's the era of zinc.1,2 Others wait in the wings.

With the introduction of any new therapeutic agent, many clinicians follow a predictable course of initial enthusiasm and overutilization, followed by partial rejection at the first signs

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