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Int J Dermatol. 2012 Apr;51(4):459-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2011.05353.x.

Randomized, double-blind trial of 220 mg zinc sulfate twice daily in the treatment of rosacea.

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  • 1Essentia Health Duluth Clinic, Duluth, MN 55805-1983, USA.


A 2006 article published in the International Journal of Dermatology reported that oral zinc sulfate 100 mg three times daily was associated with improvement in the severity of facial rosacea (Sharquie et al. 2006; 45: 857-861). The current study was undertaken to further assess the role of zinc in the management of rosacea. This was a randomized, double-blind trial of 220 mg of zinc sulfate twice daily for 90 days in patients with moderately severe facial rosacea at baseline. Subjects were recruited in the Upper Midwest USA between August 2006 and April 2008, and followed until July 2008. Forty-four subjects completed the trial (22 in each arm). Rosacea improved in both groups. There were no differences in magnitude of improvement based on rosacea severity scores between subjects receiving zinc sulfate and subjects receiving placebo (P=0.284). Serum zinc levels were higher in subjects receiving zinc (P<0.001). Oral zinc sulfate was not associated with greater improvement in rosacea severity compared with placebo in this study. Additional studies are needed to determine what role oral zinc may have in the management of rosacea.

© 2012 The International Society of Dermatology.

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