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J Dermatolog Treat. 2019 Jul 16:1-4. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2019.1639607. [Epub ahead of print]

A revisit to the effects of zinc salt on skin burn wound healing to reflect the risks in current pharmaceutical care.

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a Particle Design Research Group, Faculty of Pharmacy , Universiti Teknologi MARA Selangor , Puncak Alam , Malaysia.
b Non-Destructive Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research Centre, iPROMISE , Universiti Teknologi MARA Selangor , Puncak Alam , Malaysia.


The lower limit of soluble zinc content that can possibly be applied onto a wounded skin as a healing promoter was not known. This study examined skin wound healing process of rats inflicted by partial thickness thermal burn wound as a function of applied soluble zinc contents (0.1 ml of zinc chloride solution 0.01% (w/w) or 5.0% (w/w)). The size, surface morphology and histological profiles of wound beds of untreated rats and those treated with zinc chloride solutions were characterized. A soluble zinc content as low as 10.5 μg/cm2 of skin negated skin wound healing when compared to the untreated rats. This was alarming as the commercial products currently in the market are formulated with a high level of zinc content. Albeit the zinc salt employed was water-insoluble, a minute fraction of soluble zinc might be available to the treatment sites. This could be partially responsible for the late adverse effects such as pruritis and inflammation reported with calamine/diphenhydramine lotion, medicated shampoo, Olay Complete defense moisturizing lotion and Zineryt® topical solution. The skin irritation was likely a resultant oxidative stress action of soluble zinc, where a small fraction could be adequate to negate the skin homeostasis. Key messages Zinc is essentially a cofactor for skin collagen formation. Soluble zinc content as low as 10.5 μg/cm2 of skin irritates skin and negates burn wound healing. Skin irritation of commercial products relates to minute soluble zinc content availability.


Skin; wound; zinc

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