Also indexed as: Acrodermatitis Enteropathy, Zinc Malabsorption
Controlling zinc deficiency is key to treating this rare
childhood disorder. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may
help balance zinc levels and keep symptoms in check:
- Reach for the supplements
- Overcome the poor mineral absorption associated with
acrodermatitis by taking zinc supplements as recommended by your healthcare provider
These recommendations are not comprehensive and are not intended to replace
the advice of your doctor or pharmacist. Continue reading the full acrodermatitis article for
more in-depth, fully-referenced information on medicines, vitamins, herbs, and dietary and
lifestyle changes that may be helpful.
Acrodermatitis enteropathica is a rare inherited childhood disorder that results in the
inability to absorb adequate amounts of zinc from the diet. Anyone who is severely zinc deficient can develop the same symptoms that
occur in the inherited form of this disorder.
Symptoms of acrodermatitis enteropathica include skin lesions, hair loss, and diarrhea. If
untreated, the condition can result in death during infancy or early childhood.
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What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of this condition include growth retardation, diarrhea, hair loss, and a red skin rash. Skin around
the fingernails may be red and swollen.
Individuals with acrodermatitis are usually given over the counter zinc supplements.
Dietary changes that may be helpful
Oysters, beef, liver, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and Brazil nuts are all high in zinc.1 However,
people with acrodermatitis enteropathica also need to take zinc supplements.
Vitamins that may be helpful
Supplementation with zinc brings about
complete remission in hereditary acrodermatitis enteropathica. Zinc supplements in the amount
of 30 to 150 mg per day are used by people with this condition.2 People with
acrodermatitis enteropathica need to be monitored by a healthcare professional to ensure that
their level of zinc supplementation is adequate and that the zinc supplements are not inducing
a copper deficiency.
Are there any side effects or interactions?
Refer to the individual supplement for information about any side effects or interactions.
1. Murray MT. The Healing Power of Foods. Rocklin, CA: Prima
Publishing, 1993, 7.
2. Berkow R. Merck Manual. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck
Research Laboratories, 1987, 946.