9 Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency

Zinc is an important nutrient that is required by every cell, tissue, and organ to function properly. It also plays an indispensable role in digestion, immune function, cell metabolism, wound healing, and DNA expression. In essence, it is involved in every metabolic process in the body.

With the current lifestyle, where people live in a bubble of multivitamin supplements and fortified food, not many people take a keen interest in their nutrition. As a result, zinc deficiency has become a global health crisis. The World Health Organization reports that 31 percent of the world’s population has a zinc deficiency. It is also responsible for the increase in mortality rates through pneumonia and childhood diarrhoea in developing countries. For instance, zinc deficiency has contributed to about 406,000 deaths from pneumonia in Africa, the East Mediterranean, and South East Asia.

1. Xerosis

Xerosis is a medical disorder that is characterised by dry skin. The name originates from two Greek words, ‘xero’ meaning dry and ‘osis’, which means disease. Xerosis is one of the common signs of zinc deficiency in the body. You can notice this skin disorder through a rough, tough, or tight skin. It can also progress into a flaky, scaly, and itchy skin.

Six percent of the total amount of zinc in your body is located on your skin. It is present in the epidermis and dermis. Zinc is essential for optimal skin health. As a result, limited intake of zinc may cause flaking of the skin. People who are over 65 years are at a higher risk of getting this skin condition.