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.
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.
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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Eczema refers to skin inflammation. There are many different types of eczema that produce symptoms and signs that range from oozing blisters to crusty plaques of skin. Treatment varies depending upon the type of eczema the person has.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition. Symptoms and signs include a red, scaling rash on the scalp, face, ears, and torso. Treatment often includes the use of a medicated shampoo and the application of a topical steroid lotion.
Corns and Calluses
Corns and calluses are sometimes painful areas of thickened skin that appear between the toes and fingers or on the soles of the feet. Abnormal foot anatomy, ill-fitting footwear, and unusual gait can put increased pressure on specific areas, causing corns and calluses. Treatment may involve using over-the-counter salicylic-acid products, visiting a podiatrist to be fitted with an orthotic device, or surgical removal.
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Eczema is a general term for many types dermatitis (skin inflammation). Atopic dermatitis is the most common of the many types of eczema. Other types of eczema include: contact eczema, allergic contact eczema, seborrheic eczema, nummular eczema, stasis dermatitis, and dyshidrotic eczema.
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How Do You Treat Perioral Dermatitis?
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Does Psoriasis Have a Smell?
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How Do You Get Rid of Contact Dermatitis Fast?
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Should You Brush Scalp Psoriasis?
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Ringworm vs. Eczema
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What Deficiency Causes Scalp Psoriasis?
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Scalp Psoriasis (Psoriasis of the Scalp)
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What Deficiency Causes Hand Eczema?
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Triggers of genital psoriasis may include stress, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, injury to the skin, medications, infections, and obesity.
How Do You Manage Inverse Psoriasis?
Although there is no permanent cure for inverse psoriasis, treatment can help manage and alleviate symptoms, including itching and discoloration.
What Does Dermatitis Herpetiformis Look Like?
Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) or Duhring’s disease looks similar to herpes lesion (a cluster of dew drops over skin) but is not caused by herpes virus. It is characterized by a cluster of red, itchy, bumpy skin rashes that may affect the elbows, knees, buttocks, lower back, and scalp. The rash can also be confused with eczema or acne.
Is Psoriasis Contagious?
Psoriasis is an incurable skin disease that causes reddish patches of skin topped with a thick layer of dry silvery scales. Psoriasis cannot spread and is not contagious.
Can You Treat Eczema and Psoriasis the Same Way?
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How Do You Stop Guttate Psoriasis From Spreading?
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Can Diet and Lifestyle Changes Cure Eczema?
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What Foods Trigger Eczema Flare-Ups?
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Atopic Dermatitis vs. Eczema
Atopic dermatitis and eczema both refer to skin conditions. Atopic dermatitis is a cause of eczema, which refers to skin conditions that cause inflammation and irritation. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Eczema is not a condition in itself, but a description for a group of skin diseases that cause skin inflammation and irritation.
What Is the Difference Between Eczema and Psoriasis?
Allergies and skin reactions trigger eczema. Psoriasis isn't triggered by allergies. Signs and symptoms of eczema include skin redness, swelling, and itching while psoriasis symptoms and signs include thick, red, itchy, and scaly patches of skin.
What Is the Best Treatment for Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an incurable chronic autoimmune disorder of the skin that causes patches of thick, flaky, scaly skin, mostly around the scalp, knees, and elbows, though any skin surface may be involved. Some people experience only small patches while others have red, inflamed skin and think scaly patches all over the body. The exact cause of psoriasis is not clear, but it isn’t contagious.
What Is Mild to Moderate Psoriasis?
Mild to moderate psoriasis is when the psoriatic scales or plaques (raised surfaces with a silvery cover of dead skin cells) cover less than five percent of the body surface area.
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Nummular Eczema vs. Ringworm: Differences
Nummular eczema is also known as discoid eczema or nummular dermatitis. Ringworm is a common skin infection also known as dermatophytosis, dermatophyte infection, or tinea corporis.
How Do You Stop Psoriasis From Stress?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease that can be passed down (hereditary) to you from your parents or grandparents. Stress is a common factor that can trigger your psoriasis. Psoriasis has a stronger association with psychiatric disorders than other skin diseases. Stress worsens psoriasis by triggering a complex network of signals between the endocrine (hormones), nervous and immune systems.
What Is the Main Cause of Eczema?
Though the exact cause of eczema is unknown, doctors suspect that it occurs due to an overactive immune system that responds aggressively when exposed to triggers.
What Are the Different Types and Causes of Scalp Psoriasis?
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How Do I Treat Dry Skin on My Face?
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Is Nummular Eczema an Autoimmune Disorder?
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Is Psoriasis Associated With HIV?
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that affects the skin. HIV is linked to a higher likelihood of developing psoriasis and more severe symptoms.
What Triggers Facial Psoriasis?
Possible triggers of facial psoriasis include smoking, obesity, medications, infections, skin injury, stress, vitamin D deficiency, and stress.
What Causes Nail Psoriasis?
Nail psoriasis is caused by the same autoimmune mechanisms as other types of psoriasis. The immune system attacks normal tissues in the body and triggers rapid cell growth.
Can You Get Rid of Eczema?
Eczema may be persistent and difficult to treat. A combination of various treatment modalities may be required to treat eczema and control flare-ups.
Atopic Dermatitis vs Contact Dermatitis
The word dermatitis refers to inflammation (redness and swelling) of the skin. Dermatitis includes various skin conditions that cause irritation or rashes on the skin. It generally causes no serious harm to the body and does not mean that the affected person’s skin is infected or unhygienic.
What Is the Best Treatment for Eczema?
Learn what medical treatments can help ease your eczema symptoms and signs and speed up your recovery.
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.
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 Is Inverse Psoriasis Diagnosed?
Diagnosis of inverse psoriasis is typically based on medical history and a clinical examination that assesses the location and appearance of the rash.
Is Genital Psoriasis Life-Threatening?
Although genital psoriasis is neither life-threatening nor contagious, it can be uncomfortable and more difficult to treat than other types of psoriasis.
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.
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.
Where Does Psoriasis Usually Start?
The most common sites of psoriasis are the scalp, elbows, and knees, although psoriasis can involve any part of the body such as the face, palms, soles, and back.
How Do You Treat Mild to Moderate Psoriasis?
Mild to moderate psoriasis is typically treated with medications and therapies that aim to reduce inflammation and slow the rapid skin cell growth associated with the condition.
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.
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.
What Is Generalized Pustular Psoriasis?
Generalized pustular psoriasis (GPP) is a rare, severe type of psoriasis that covers large areas of the body and characterized by pus-filled blisters rather than plaques.
What Can Trigger Contact Dermatitis? Causes and Symptoms
Learn the common triggers, causes, and symptoms of contact dermatitis below.
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.
What Is Intertriginous Psoriasis?
Intertriginous psoriasis, also known as inverse psoriasis, is a rare type of psoriasis that occurs in skin folds, such as the armpits, under the breasts, and groin.
Are Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis the Same?
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that occurs due to joint inflammation in people with psoriasis; however, not every person with psoriasis gets psoriatic arthritis.
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.
How Do I Get Rid of Eczema on My Face?
Get rid of facial eczema by using moisturizers, bathing practices, wet-wrap therapy, medications, and phototherapy.
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.
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.
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.
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
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.