Transient Symptomatic Zinc Deficiency in a Breast-fed Preterm Infant
Article first published online: 23 OCT 2007
Volume 24, Issue 5, pages 536–540, September/October 2007
How to Cite
Kiechl-Kohlendorfer, U., Fink, F.-M. and Steichen-Gersdorf, E. (2007), Transient Symptomatic Zinc Deficiency in a Breast-fed Preterm Infant. Pediatric Dermatology, 24: 536–540. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1470.2007.00512.x
- Issue published online: 23 OCT 2007
- Article first published online: 23 OCT 2007
Abstract: Transient, symptomatic zinc deficiency in breast-fed, low-birthweight infants is a rare, but probably underrecognized disorder hallmarked by periorificial and acral dermatitis. Unlike in acrodermatitis enteropathica, symptoms disappear when nursing ends. We report a breast-fed, preterm infant with demarcated, erythematous, and exudative patches with overlying crusts on the perioral, perianal, and acral areas. Laboratory investigations revealed lowered zinc levels in the infant’s serum, but normal levels in his mother’s milk. Oral zinc supplementation resulted in total clearing of skin lesions within 4 weeks. Our patient’s presentation illustrates the importance of zinc in rapidly growing preterm infants and aims to stimulate awareness for this disorder. Symptomatic zinc deficiency can be easily diagnosed by careful examination and effectively treated with oral zinc substitution.