Ingredient Focus: Zinc Pyrithione
Zinc Pyrithione is the active ingredient identified as being highly effective for treating and improving various skin conditions related to a natural yeast that lives on our skin called Malassezia.
What is Malassezia?
Although it's part of our normal skin flora, Malassezia overgrowth can cause one or more of the following skin conditions:
- Seborrheic dermatitis (red scaly patches of skin),
- Fungal Acne (also known as Malassezia Folliculitis),
- Tinea Versicolor etc.
Zinc Pyrithione mode of action
Zinc Pyrithione disrupts iron distribution across the yeast wall and effectively starves the yeast of some of the critical processes important in its respiratory function.
Zinc Pyrithione penetrates the hair follicle where Malassezia resides and has a unique slow-release ability. It persists in the top layer of skin even after rinsing off the product. Therefore, it imparts long-lasting control and sustained release of anti-yeast coverage and suppression of the Malassezia yeast overgrowth.
Zinc Pyrithione also has broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity: Not only does it inhibit and reduce the burden of Malassezia on the skin, but it also targets gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, as well as other fungi that cause ringworm, athlete's foot, and jock itch.
The yeast, fungi, and bacteria do not develop resistance towards Zinc Pyrithione. Consistent application of Zinc Pyrithione will, therefore, result in continuous antimicrobial activity.
How to identify if your skin suffers from Malassezia overgrowth:
You may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Red, inflamed, itchy skin on your body, scalp, or face.
- Crusty, scaly patches on the scalp.
- Skin flakes (dandruff) on your scalp, hair, eyebrows, beard, or mustache.
- Patches of greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales or crust on the scalp, face, sides of the nose, eyebrows, ears, eyelids, chest, armpits, groin area or under the breasts.
- Little itchy bumps.
- Acne breakouts that do not seem to clear up with conventional acne treatment.
- Acne breakouts in moist areas ex: In the hairline, around the mouth, on the back, between the thighs, or on the buttocks.
How to effectively use Zinc Pyrithione:
Use a product that contains 2% Zinc Pyrithione.
Make sure that the product has good contact with the skin. Lather the areas you would like to treat and keep the product on the skin for at least 5 min, but most preferably 10 min for best results. This will allow the product to penetrate the follicles to reach the Malassezia optimally.
Repeat the application nightly for at least 3-4 weeks. Within this timeframe, you will start to experience positive results as the Zinc Pyrithione controls the Malassezia overgrowth.
To keep the Malassezia yeast from returning, make sure you have enough Zinc Pyrithione hanging out in the skin around the problem areas. Do not stop your treatment after all the signs and symptoms have cleared up. Problem areas should be in contact with Zinc Pyrithione at least once per week. Always remember the 5-10 min skin contact rule.
The FDA has approved Zinc Pyrithione as very safe and effective. There is no harm in continuing to use the Zinc Pyrithione daily. Bacteria and the yeast on your skin will not become resistant to it, so there's no reason to stop using it.
Click here for published medical trials on Zinc Pyrithione
DermExcel product containing 2% Zinc Pyrithione: