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July 1978

Acne in Zinc Deficiency

Author Affiliations

Berkeley, Calif

Arch Dermatol. 1978;114(7):1093. doi:10.1001/archderm.1978.01640190071030

To the Editor.—  Articles published recently by Michaëlsson and co-workers1,2 suggest that oral ZnSO4 (135 mg elemental zinc per day) substantially reduced acne vulgaris lesions in several groups of young adults. Although the 15- to 19-year-old males with severe acne had initial serum zinc values lower than the healthy controls, none of the mean zinc values for any of the groups (range, 84 to 101 μg/100 ml) was below generally accepted normal serum levels (70 to 125 μg/100 ml).3 It appears from these data that there was no correlation between plasma zinc levels and the development of acne vulgaris. Others have reported, however, that serum zinc is not always an accurate indicator of zinc nutritional status,4 so it still remains unclear as to whether acne vulgaris occurred as a result of zinc deficiency.We have recently conducted a study of zinc depletion in six young men