Zinc

Description

Oral zinc has been shown to be of occasional benefit in Alopecia Areata and appears to possess an immunomodulatory effect as well as an anti-androgenetic effect. However very high doses are needed for it to be effective and this may result in side effects which can include vomiting and diarrhoea.

~ Internet Health Library

The Attract website (an abstract site for medical professionals/clinicians in Wales) cites this study by Peter C, Hoting E, and entitled Therapy of alopecia areata with zinc sulfate, inH +G Zeitschrift Fur Hautkrankheiten 1996

Therapy of alopecia areata with zinc sulfate4 (1996) 178 patients were treated with zinc sulphate, 3x200mg p.o. for 6 months whilst 129 patients received a placebo. Both groups were comparable in terms of duration of disease (diameter 3,7 yrs), extent of alopecia (diameter 52% of the scalp) and age at first manifestation of the disease (diameter 28, 5 yrs). However the number of atopic patients was higher in the placebo group (45%) rather than the zinc treated group (35%). After 6 months the data of 108 of the zinc-treated patients and 83 of the placebo group were analysed. The zinc-treated group showed an overall response of 44%, complete remission in 13% and partial remission in 31% of cases. The control group showed complete remission in 4% and partial remission in 19% of cases. The authors also noted an even greater beneficial effect in the treated group for those patients whose alopecia was of shorter duration and more limited in extent. They recommended a trial with zinc treatment in such cases.

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