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Low serum zinc in children with atopic eczema.


David TJ, Wells FE, Sharpe TC, Gibbs AC




Br J Dermatol


Serum zinc was measured by atomic absorption spectrophotometry in sixty-five children with atopic eczema and seventy-nine control children. The mean serum zinc of the patients, (11.4 +/- 2.0 mumol/l) was significantly lower than that of the controls (13.7 +/- 2.3 mumol/l, P less than 0.0001). There was no significant correlation between the patients' serum zinc concentration and either the height/weight centile or a subjective assessment of severity and extent of the eczema. Of eleven patients with serum zinc below 10 mumol/l, six had recurrent infections of the skin, a significantly greater proportion than in patients whose serum zinc was 10 mumol/l or above. It is suspected that the decreased plasma zinc concentration in children with eczema is a non-specific consequence of the dermatological disorder, and therefore there is no indication for zinc supplementation.

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