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keithwmr

Here's my story

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When I was about 17 I started getting cystic acne and it took me a while to find a cure. After doing a few things that the dermatologist recommended with no improvement, my mom told me about zinc.

I started taking about 50mg-100mg of zinc per day and using zinc oxide for spot treating my acne. In about a months time the I was able to keep my face clear of acne it was awesome. This continued to work for me and when I would slack off on taking zinc I would notice my acne would come back but it would clear once I got back on track with the zinc. So anyways, all of the sudden my acne came really strong and the zinc didn't seem to help anymore as if it just stopped working. My acne got worse for about 3 months, then decided to talk to the dermatologist. The day I went in, she immediately put me on Accutane. I've been on Accutane for 3 months so far and as its known to do, it made my acne way worse. I know thats part of the process. So I recently was taken off Accutane due to my blood levels. Anyways, I'm on a two week break from it and just got my blood test taken again.

Well anyways, I'm going to have to decide to go back on it or not once my dermatologist calls me and tells me about the blood test.

I wanted to know if anyone has had that experience with zinc and knows why it could have stopped working. I'm tempted just not to go back on Accutane and try the zinc again. I kind of wonder if I was just having some type of weird break out. I just wanted to know if anyone had zinc stop working like that.

Thanks

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When I was about 17 I started getting cystic acne and it took me a while to find a cure. After doing a few things that the dermatologist recommended with no improvement, my mom told me about zinc.

I started taking about 50mg-100mg of zinc per day and using zinc oxide for spot treating my acne. In about a months time the I was able to keep my face clear of acne it was awesome. This continued to work for me and when I would slack off on taking zinc I would notice my acne would come back but it would clear once I got back on track with the zinc. So anyways, all of the sudden my acne came really strong and the zinc didn't seem to help anymore as if it just stopped working. My acne got worse for about 3 months, then decided to talk to the dermatologist. The day I went in, she immediately put me on Accutane. I've been on Accutane for 3 months so far and as its known to do, it made my acne way worse. I know thats part of the process. So I recently was taken off Accutane due to my blood levels. Anyways, I'm on a two week break from it and just got my blood test taken again.

Well anyways, I'm going to have to decide to go back on it or not once my dermatologist calls me and tells me about the blood test.

I wanted to know if anyone has had that experience with zinc and knows why it could have stopped working. I'm tempted just not to go back on Accutane and try the zinc again. I kind of wonder if I was just having some type of weird break out. I just wanted to know if anyone had zinc stop working like that.

Thanks

Have you changed diet?

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a) we know from repeated studies that for most people, zinc provides acne improvement that is only a little better than placebo.

b) in my personal experience, large-dose zinc could stop my acne cold in 48 hours... or not, depending on other factors.

Hence, I've been on a personal journey to identify exactly what those other factors are. At this point, my hypothesis looks like this:

The mechanism by which zinc influences acne is (I speculate) when the nocturnal melatonin surge stimulates the genes of cells to produce zinc superoxide dismutase (and the melatonin itself may directly influence acne in the skin, by slowing proliferation and interfering with skin-local production of androgens). So, this at least requires a healthy nocturnal surge of melatonin, and enough available zinc. What can go wrong?

There are multiple possible barriers to getting zinc absorbed. Vitamin B6 may help. Having recently eaten plant-based food may interfere with absorption; zinc and hamburgers go together well. Fructose may interfere with absorption. Having insufficient Vitamin D levels may inhibit absorption. Caffeine can interfere with zinc absorption and movement into tissues.

There are multiple possible barriers to having a healthy nocturnal melatonin surge. Any light getting to the eyes can shut down nighttime melatonin (e.g., turning the light on, sunlight coming in, even the light from electronic LED alarm clocks in some studies). Getting too few hours of sleep means less melatonin moved to the skin. Caffeine can dampen the height of the nighttime melatonin surge. Spending much of the day in typically dim indoor lighting may also be a source of both digestion problems (the gut knows it's supposed to work harder during the day than at night) and abnormal melatonin cycles. We really evolved at the equator, getting lots of UVB for Vitamin D and suppressed melatonin during the days, followed by quite dark, long nights with no artificial light getting to the eyes to suppress melatonin.

You need tryptophan to cross the blood-brain barrier to provide the fuel for making nighttime melatonin in the pineal gland. The body cannot make tryptophan, it has to come from protein you eat. Fructose can keep the gut from absorbing tryptophan successfully in many people.

This hypothesis posits that there are many subtle things that could therefore affect acne. Staying up later at night, leading to sunlight earlier in the morning terminating the melatonin surge. Eating an apple before a meal (high fructose/glucose ratio keeping tryptophan and zinc in the meal from being absorbed). Having more caffeine later in the day. For men, an increase in ejaculation frequency (semen being a fairly concentrated with zinc that must be replaced).

So, I would argue that there are a number of different things that could potentially make someone go from being clear on zinc to not being clear on zinc. Figuring out what's going on in your particular case, of course, could take a lot of detective work. And, since I'm just another amateur medical flack on the Internet, all of this could be complete hogwash, as most things written about acne are. :D

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I wonder what form of zinc those studies used that said it was only slightly better than placebo?

@keithwmr what form of zinc where you taking? Opti-zinc (zinc methionine) is the best absorbed form.

I am currently taking around 150mg of opti-zinc and my acne is clearing pretty well.

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I wonder what form of zinc those studies used that said it was only slightly better than placebo?

@keithwmr what form of zinc where you taking? Opti-zinc (zinc methionine) is the best absorbed form.

I am currently taking around 150mg of opti-zinc and my acne is clearing pretty well.

It looks like the ones that I have now are zinc gluconate. I think these are the ones that I had before.

Is the opti-zinc expensive?

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Is the opti-zinc expensive?

No. It is dirt cheap. I believe I got a bottle of NOW brand opti-zinc (30mg) 100 capsules for $4.

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