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August 1985

Zinc and Cutaneous Inflammation

Author Affiliations

University of Colorado School of Medicine 4200 E Ninth Ave Denver, CO 80062

Arch Dermatol. 1985;121(8):985-989. doi:10.1001/archderm.1985.01660080039011

Zinc and other trace metals are important cofactors and modulators of many critical biologic functions in the states of both health and disease. The role of zinc in modulating the immune response and inflammation has posed many questions concerning the potential usefulness of trace metals in modulating inflammatory disease.1 The descriptions of zinc deficiency in acrodermatitis enteropathica,2 the correction of the clinical disease in patients with acrodermatitis enteropathica via zinc supplementation,3 and the correlation of improvement with certain changes in immunologic variables4 have focused our attention on the potential usefulness of trace metals in treating inflammatory cutaneous diseases. Previous reports about modulation of autoimmune disease by zinc depletion5 and the treatment of acne,6 and a report about dissecting cellulitis of the scalp reported in this issue of the Archives,7 continue to stimulate our interest in the role of zinc in cutaneous inflammation and its