Found throughout your body, zinc is an essential trace element that’s important to the functioning of your immune system and metabolism, among other things.

Some research seems to point to the conclusion that zinc may help with the symptoms of eczema.

Zinc has anti-inflammatory properties and increases the resurfacing of a skin wound with new epithelium. Also, zinc oxide paste has long been used as a soothing and anti-itch agent for the treatment of diaper rash.

What does the research say?

  • According to a 2014 review, when zinc sulfate was added to clobetasol cream, it showed a statistically significant improvement over the cream without zinc sulfate for people with chronic hand eczema. The researchers also indicated that with its strong antibacterial and antioxidant action, topical zinc oxide has also been used in treating atopic dermatitis.
  • A 2016 study concluded that zinc deficiency and atopic dermatitis share many features but felt that further studies were needed to determine a possible cause-and-effect relationship.
  • A 2013 study using zinc oxide impregnated textiles demonstrated that people with atopic dermatitis who used the textiles showed significant improvement in the disease severity, itchiness, and subjective sleep than those not using the textiles.

Talk with your doctor or dermatologist to see if zinc could be used to treat your eczema.

Eczema can be incredibly itchy. One home remedy for dealing with eczema itch is calamine lotion. One of the primary ingredients in calamine lotion is zinc oxide.

Research indicates that zinc is a useful treatment option for itch because it inhibits mast cell degranulation, reducing the secretion of histamine which can contribute to itch.

Whether or not you have sensitive skin, all skin products can potentially cause side effects.

If you’ve selected a new product containing zinc to try for your eczema, consider doing a patch test to identify any possible allergic reactions.

To do a patch test:

  1. Identify a small patch of skin. Pick an easily observed area such as the inside of your arm or wrist.
  2. Apply a small amount of product to the selected area and wait 24 hours.
  3. If you develop redness, hives, or a rash, do not use the product again. If you observe no side effects, consider applying the product to other areas of your body.

Always read the label to determine if the product has any known allergens. Also make it a point to follow any instructions on the label.

In its early stages, zinc deficiency resembles atopic dermatitis. Although rare in the United States, zinc deficiency is characterized by your body’s inability to produce new, healthy cells.

Symptoms can include:

Zinc deficiency is typically reversed through dietary changes or supplements.

Zinc is an essential nutrient that supports various functions throughout your body. Research indicates that it could help your skin and eczema.

Talk with your dermatologist or doctor to determine if zinc, either as a supplement or a topical cream, is a good choice for your specific situation.