Generic Name: urea (topical)
Brand Names: Carmol 10, Keralac, Carmol 20, Carmol 40, Gordon's Urea, Aquacare, Ureacin 10, Ureacin 20, Utopic, Vanamide
Drug Class: Emollients
What is urea, and what is it used for?
Urea is an emollient used in the treatment of many skin disorders that cause dry, rough, thick, and scaly skin.
Urea is a naturally occurring molecule formed in the liver, the principal end product of the body’s protein metabolism, which is eliminated in the urine. Commercially produced urea is used as an ingredient in topical formulations such as creams, gels, lotions, ointments, and sprays that are available over the counter (OTC) in the U.S. Urea skin products typically contain urea in proportions varying from 10% to 50%.
The outer protective layer of the skin is made up of keratin, a tough protein. The dead skin cells in the outer layer are shed regularly as new cells take their place. In some skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, calluses, and others, the skin cells do not shed normally, and the keratinous layer accumulates to form thick plaques or dry, horny scales that can be itchy and painful.
Urea works by gently dissolving the top skin layer’s extracellular matrix, a network of proteins that provide structure to all tissue, softening and loosening the scaly and horny top layer of the skin, and promoting its shedding. Urea is also used to soften and debride abnormally thickened nail plates that result from these skin conditions. Urea products are used in the following skin conditions:
- Do not use it if you are hypersensitive to any of the components in the urea formulation.
- Do not apply urea on irritated, infected or open skin.
- Do not use it to treat any skin condition other than that for which it is prescribed.
- Neither long-term animal studies for carcinogenic potential, nor studies on reproduction and fertility have been performed on this product yet. Use with caution.
- No animal reproductive studies or adequate and well-controlled studies on pregnant women have been performed. Urea should be used during pregnancy only if it is clearly needed and the maternal benefits outweigh potential risks to the fetus.
- It is not known if urea is present in breast milk. Use with caution in nursing mothers, because many drugs are excreted in breast milk.
What are the side effects of urea?
Common side effects of urea include:
- Local irritation
- Transient stinging of the skin
- Transient burning sensation
- Itching (pruritus)
Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms or serious side effects while using this drug:
- Serious heart symptoms include fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness;
- Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady;
- Severe nervous system reaction with very stiff muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, and feeling like you might pass out; or
- Serious eye symptoms include blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights.
This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions that may occur from the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may also report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What are the dosages of urea?
Hyperkeratotic Skin Conditions
- Indicated for hyperkeratotic conditions such as dry, rough skin; xerosis; ichthyosis; skin cracks and fissures; dermatitis; eczema; psoriasis; keratoses; and calluses
- Apply topically to affected skin every day or every 8-12 hours
- Rub lotion/cream into skin until completely absorbed
- Safety and efficacy not established
- Applying too much urea products on the skin can cause irritation, redness, itching and pain. Symptoms should resolve with discontinuation of urea.
- Urea inhalation can cause coughing and shortness of breath and eye exposure can irritate the eye and cause pain and redness.
- Oral overdose of urea may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, confusion and electrolyte depletion.
- Treatment of urea overdose is symptomatic and supportive care.
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What drugs interact with urea?
Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s recommendation.
- Urea has no known severe or serious interactions with other drugs.
- Moderate Interactions of urea include:
- Mild Interactions of urea include:
The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.
It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information. Check with your doctor or health care provider if you have any questions about the medication.
IMAGESBrowse our medical image collection of allergic skin disorders such as psoriasis and dermatitis and more caused by allergies See Images
Urea is an emollient used in the treatment of many skin disorders that cause dry, rough, thick, and scaly skin, including dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, keratosis pilaris, corns, calluses, ingrown nails, and more. Common side effects of urea include local irritation, transient stinging of the skin, transient burning sensation, itching (pruritus), redness, and rash. Applying too much urea products on the skin can cause irritation, redness, itching and pain.
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Get rid of facial eczema by using moisturizers, bathing practices, wet-wrap therapy, medications, and phototherapy.
How Can I Get Rid of Dry Skin Fast at Home?
Dry skin may be associated with deep cracks, redness, fine lines, itching, skin tightness, and rough-looking skin. Get rid of dry skin at home fast by avoiding long showers, moisturizing your skin, wearing lip balm, or applying coconut oil, petroleum jelly or aloe vera.
Does Psoriasis Cause Cardiovascular Disease?
Long-lasting inflammation due to psoriasis can affect your heart and blood vessels, increasing your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, heart attack, or stroke.
Is Psoriasis Linked to Anxiety?
Like other chronic conditions, psoriasis can take a toll on your emotional health. Anxiety can trigger or worsen psoriasis, and psoriasis can cause anxiety.
Can Psoriasis Lead to Psoriatic Arthritis?
It is well established that both psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis are linked. Nearly 30 percent of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis.
Is Psoriasis a COVID-19 Risk?
Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune, inflammatory condition that primarily affects the skin. There is no definitive link between psoriasis and an increased risk of COVID-19.
What Is Considered Moderate Plaque Psoriasis?
Moderate plaque psoriasis is when patches cover 3%-10% of your body surface area. Learn about symptoms, causes, triggers, and treatment.
What Is the Most Severe Form of Psoriasis?
Erythrodermic psoriasis (EP) or erythroderma is a severe type of psoriasis that causes extensive peeling, severe itching, and rashes across the entire surface of the body.
What Is Chronic Plaque Psoriasis?
Chronic plaque psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by well-distinguished, erythematous (red and inflamed), scaly plaques on the skin of extensor surfaces.
Is Eczema Linked to Diet?
Research has linked food allergies and eczema, and avoiding certain foods could help reduce eczema flare-ups. Learn which foods to avoid and which foods to eat if you suffer from eczema.
Is Erythrodermic Psoriasis Rare?
Erythrodermic psoriasis is a very rare and potentially fatal form of psoriasis that affects about 1%-2.2% percent of people with the condition.
Is Pustular Psoriasis an Autoimmune Disease?
Pustular psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that is characterized by yellowish pustules over the skin on an erythematous base.
What Triggers Eczema on Hands?
Eczema is a skin condition that causes red, itchy, scaly skin. Things that trigger eczema on the hands include excessive hand washing, harsh soap, scented lotion, and other irritants.
How Does Psoriasis Affect the Cardiovascular System?
Psoriasis causes inflammation inside your body, which can damage your cardiovascular system over time and increase your risk of heart problems.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Skin FAQs
- Psoriasis FAQs
- Dry Skin FAQs
- Eczema FAQs
- A Breakthrough Treatment for Eczema
- Eczema: Dry Hands May Be Sign of Eczema
- Psoriasis, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis Share One Gene
- Psoriasis Drugs Strike Immune Targets (Raptiva, Enbrel)
- Understanding Actinic Keratosis
- Can Eczema Be Painful?
- Can You Get Gout in Your Back?
- How Do You Get Psoriasis?
- Can Psoriasis Be Caused by Allergy?
- Is It Eczema or Psoriasis?
- Is Eczema Hereditary?
- What Are the Triggers of Psoriasis?
- Do Fish Oil Supplements Cure Dry Skin?
- Seborrheic Dermatitis Treatment
- Eczema Medical Treatment and Home Remedies
- Psoriasis PUVA Therapy Can Increase Melanoma Risk
- What Causes Keratosis Pilaris?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
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