What is Zinc Sulfate?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 August 2019
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Zinc sulfate is a powder that is colorless and completely water-soluble. The product can be used in several different applications, including some connected with maintaining good health. A number of over the counter products contain some level of zinc sulfate, as well as many prescription medications.

One application of zinc sulfate that may surprise some people is the use of the powder as a means to preserve wood products. The properties of the sulfate help it permeate the body of the wood and help to protect it from wear and tear from regular use as well as adverse weather conditions. The sulfate can be used safely with just about any type of wood product and eliminates the necessity of using other preservatives that have in recent years been proven to have adverse effects on the health of human beings.

In terms of healthcare uses, zinc sulfate is often included as an ingredient in products designed to treat skin conditions. In particular, over-the-counter medications for acne are likely to contain the compound. Lotions and topical creams that are used to treat boils are also likely to contain at least trace amounts of the sulfate.


The chemical compound is also helpful with a number of internal health issues as well. Products such as throat lozenges are likely to employ zinc sulfate as one of the ingredients. Many products that promote health hair and strong nails contain the compound. The properties of zinc to promote the proper function of the oil glands is thought to indirectly support collagen and protein production, leaving the skin with a healthy appearance. An added bonus of the compound for skin is that the sulfate promotes conditions that encourage the healing of wounds.

Zinc sulfate is also helpful in promoting the efficient function of the immune system. This means that indirectly the product has an impact on just about every system in the body, as it helps to keep the immune system strong enough to deal with viruses and other types of infection. There is also a great deal of evidence that points to the importance of the zinc compound in the proper development of muscles and their maintenance.

It is not unusual for prescription medicine products used to treat various types of internal and external health issues also contain zinc sulfate. In most cases, the amount of sulfate present is greater than that of over the counter medications. As with many compounds, it is possible to ingest too much zinc sulfate and possibly disrupt the normal function of some systems. For this reason, it is important to follow the instructions of your healthcare professional when it comes to taking an prescription medication containing the sulfate.


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