2D and 3D image of urea molecule
|Trade names||Decubal, Carmol 40, Keralac, others|
|AHFS/Drugs.com||Multum Consumer Information|
Urea, also known as carbamide-containing cream, is used as a medication and applied to the skin to treat dryness and itching such as may occur in psoriasis, dermatitis, or ichthyosis. It may also be used to soften nails.
Urea containing creams have been used since the 1940s. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system. It is available over the counter.
Urea cream is indicated for debridement and promotion of normal healing of skin areas with hyperkeratosis, particularly where healing is inhibited by local skin infection, skin necrosis, fibrinous or itching debris or eschar. Specific condition with hyperkeratosis where urea cream is useful include:
- Dry skin and rough skin
- Damaged, ingrown and devitalized nails
Common side effects of urea cream are:
Mechanism of action
Urea dissolves the intercellular matrix of the cells of the stratum corneum, promoting desquamation of scaly skin, eventually resulting in softening of hyperkeratotic areas. In nails, urea causes softening and eventually debridement of the nail plate.
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- British national formulary : BNF 69 (69 ed.). British Medical Association. 2015. pp. 796–798. ISBN 9780857111562.
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- drugs.com > Urea Cream (Consumer Information) Archived 2011-02-26 at the Wayback Machine Issue Date: May 4, 2011
- Sethi, A; Kaur, T; Malhotra, SK; Gambhir, ML (2016). "Moisturizers: The Slippery Road". Indian Journal of Dermatology. 61 (3): 279–87. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.182427. PMC 4885180. PMID 27293248.
- "Urea". Drug Information Portal. U.S. National Library of Medicine.