Improves Wound Healing

Zinc is an essential cofactor in wound healing and immune function. Therefore, zinc deficiency retards both fibroplasia and epithelialisation, and results in delayed wound healing. Zinc supplements are used to restore zinc status in cases of wound healing associated with malnutrition and deficiency. Additionally, zinc administered orally or topically to wounds can promote healing and reduce infection, according to one major review (Lansdown 1996).

In 2001, a randomised study demonstrated that oral zinc sulfate significantly improved healing of cutaneous leishmaniasis (Sharquie et al 2001). Results showed that the cure rate for a dose of 2.5 mg/kg was 83.9%, for 5 mg/kg it was 93.1 % and for 10 mg/kg it was 96.9%, whereas no lesions showed any sign of healing in the control group.

Topical application Topical zinc oxide promotes cleansing and re-epithelialisation of ulcers and reduces the risk of infection and deterioration of ulcers compared with placebo, according to one double-blind trial of leg ulcer patients with low serum zinc levels (Agren 1990). Evidence from animal and in vitro research suggests that topically © 2007 Elsevier Australia

applied zinc solution is more effective when combined with iron than when used alone, and can effectively enhance healing in acute partial-thickness and second-degree burn wounds (Feiner et al 2003).

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