Skin Signs of Zinc Deficiency in Children: A clinical study in Jordan.

khitam al-refu, Amjad Al-Tarawneh


Aims :Zinc deficiency is one of important nutritional deficiencies in the world and constitutes a major health problem especially in childhood. No previous studies investigated the deficiency of zinc in Jordanian children and the relation of this deficiency to specific cutaneous manifestation at this age.
Materials and methods: Eight hundred children were seen at dermatology clinics (Mutah university Health Center, Karak Teaching Hospital, Jordan) complaining of various clinical dermatological symptoms were investigated for the presence of cutaneous signs of zinc deficiency and then investigated by measurement of serum zinc level for the suspected cases.
Results: 56 patients (7%) had the clinical signs suggestive of zinc deficiency and had low level of serum zinc (three cases with acrodermatitis enteropathica, 12 cases had perioral dermatitis with involvement of diaper area, and diffuse eczematoid rash, 22 had chronic diffuse hair loss with abnormal hair texture, recurrent and chronic perleche in 13 cases, and 6 cases with recurrent furunculosis and paronychia).
Conclusions: Zinc deficiency is not uncommon problem and needs high grade of suspicion because of a less characteristic appearance of zinc deficiency and may be missed in mild cases of deficiency.


Children , Cutaneous signs , Zinc deficiency

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