Urea is a naturally present solid, colourless, and odorless substance in the body. It is the major nitrogen-containing substance in urine, and it is also a natural skin moisturizer. Urea can also be synthetically manufactured and used to treat itchy and dry skin, particularly Atopic dermatitis (eczema), Psoriasis, xerosis, onychomycosis, keratosis, keratoderma, corns and calluses, and ichthyosis. As part of emollients (skin moisturizers), urea moisturizes skin by reducing water loss, resulting and softer and more supple skin. Urea softens, hydrates, and increases skin regeneration.
Urea can be prepared in any number of substances: Lotions, creams, shampoos, and gels, and in combinations varying from 3 to 40 percent urea. It is usually purchased over the counter in 10 percent solutions, although preparations with higher concentrations and other active ingredients (such as corticosteroids) may be available by prescription.
Urea preparations are for external use only. It is better to apply the preparations after bathing or showering, as the moisturizing effects are better while the skin is still damp.
Side effects are rare and not a cause for concern. Urea preparations may cause mild stinging and itching, or a skin rash. Unless the side effects are particularly bothersome, medical attention is not necessary.
Notes of Precaution
* Do not use on broken or cracked skin.
* For external use only.
* There are no harmful drug interactions with which to be concerned.
* Store urea preparation at room temperature and keep out of reach of children.
* Before taking urea preparations, notify your physician if you are pregnant, plan to be pregnant, or are breastfeeding.