Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a large group of DNA viruses that cause skin and mucosal warts. Zinc is used in the treatment of skin diseases. Zinc has been used in the treatment of various skin and systemic diseases. Warts are benign proliferation of the skin and mucosa. The prevalence of skin warts is higher in children and its peak is in adolescence and then decreases with age. Some species of HPV can cause malignancies. The effective role of zinc in the treatment of warts has recently been discussed. This study aimed to evaluate the serum zinc levels in patients with cutaneous warts compared to healthy controls.
This case-control study was performed on patients, aged 18 to 60 years old, referred to the Dermatology Clinic of Bo’Ali Sina and Razi Hospitals, Mazandaran Province in, Iran, from April to March 2016. Serum zinc level and severity of disease were assessed in case and control groups. Data were analyzed by SPSS software, version 22 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA).
A total of 94 subjects (47 in the case and control group) entered the study. The mean age of the case group was 26.40±9.33 years and in the control group 28.32±7.35 years. The gender status was 42 (44.7%) male and 52 (56.3%) female. Single and married were 63.8% and 36.2%, respectively. The mean zinc level in patients with cutaneous wart was 82 and the control group was 85.65. The mean number of warts was 5.09±6.33. The most frequent site of lesions were on the hands and foot with 48.93% and 40.42%, respectively, and the face (3.2%) had the lowest rate. Almost half of the patients were affected by the disease for 12 to 18 months. There was no significant relationship between age, sex, and severity of disease with serum zinc level (P>0.05). Serum zinc level was significantly associated with the duration of warts involvement (P=0.043).
Serum zinc levels were lower in patients with cutaneous warts than in healthy controls, but this difference was not statistically significant. Serum zinc level and duration of warts involvement were related. The duration of warts and serum levels were inversely correlated.
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