The mineral zinc plays a vital role in your body. It is responsible for encouraging proper growth and development, preventing blood clotting, regulating thyroid functioning, and so on. A deficiency of this mineral can culminate in stunted growth, poor neurological functioning, and improper wound healing among other things.

The World Health Organization reports that about 31% of people in the world suffer from a zinc deficiency.

Here is a look at signs of zinc deficiency:

Poor immune system

Zinc is responsible for maintaining a strong immune system. It plays a vital role in T-cell growth and the differentiation of white blood cells that are the immune system’s soldiers for fighting diseases, killing bacteria, and combatting other foreign particles.

The mineral is also responsible for the protective functioning of the cell membranes. Moreover, it plays a key role in apoptosis, which is programmed cell death conducted to kill virus, bacteria, and cancer cells. In the case of a deficiency of zinc, all these functions are not performed to their best, which leads to weakened immunity.

Hair fall

Excess hair fall that results in bald patches is a telltale sign of zinc deficiency. The National Institute of Health confirms that low zinc levels in the body can cause hair fall. Some reports also indicate that people suffering from alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that leads to hair loss, is due to zinc deficiency.

Moreover, some cases have noticed improvement from oral and topical zinc medications. However, the link between the two is still not thoroughly established. To this end, more research is needed. It is important to keep in mind that thinning hair is linked to multiple other reasons. Therefore, you cannot take this sign are solely related to zinc deficiency.


Zinc deficiency correlates with impaired immunity, which can result in persistent diarrhea. More than 2 million children in developing countries are vulnerable to bacterial infections including coli.


Acne is another clue that you are experiencing a shortage of zinc in the body. Research confirms that oral or topical zinc treatment is helpful in clearing breakouts. Experts opine that zinc lessens the amount of acne-causing bacteria and acne-triggering oil in your skin.

Just like hair fall though, it is related to other reasons too and acne is not the only sign of zinc deficiency. Other reasons behind acne include a hormonal imbalance in teenage or pregnancy, makeup, and improper skincare routine to name a few.

Stunted or delayed growth

A lack of zinc in your body is associated with delayed or stunted growth. Zinc in vital for immune functioning and its deficit in the body can also lead to immune dysfunctions. This surfaces as the symptom of delayed or stunted growth.

Leaky gut

Skin deficiency is associated with a leaky gut too. These come in the company of numerous health effects including poor nutrient absorption, skin disorders, allergies, thyroid problems, and auto-immune diseases.

Poor vision

A weak eyesight also corresponds to zinc deficiency. Your eyes exhibit a high concentration of zinc, specifically, in the retina. Zinc helps in the transportation of vitamin A from your liver to the retina to produce protective pigments in your eyes. Therefore, zinc is an important player in maintaining the sharpness of your vision.

Weakened senses

Zinc also plays a critical role in your senses, particularly, your sense of smell and taste. This is the reason why people who have a deficiency of zinc have difficulty in tasting their food. Research highlights that people who are given oral zinc meds have been able to improve their taste disorders. This is because zinc triggers the area of the brain, which is responsible for controlling the food intake.

Other signs

  • Irritability
  • Slow wound healing on account of a weak immune system
  • Rashes
  • Trouble hearing
  • Rough and dry skin

Final words

Conclusively, you can pick zinc deficiency by noticing these signs. A quick recap shows that slow wound healing, diarrhea, weakened immunity, poor vision, poor hearing and sense of smell and taste are all clues of zinc deficiency.