Why are urea based moisturisers best for dry skin?

A commonly asked question is why are urea based creams best for dry skin?

Dry skin due to loss of the bodies natural moisturising factors (NMF) and certain medical conditions such as diabetes. Urea, lactic acid and amino acids are naturally found in the epidermis (superficial skin layer) as NMF. Urea is commonly used as an hydrating emollient(cream) which assist with conditions such as anhidrotic skin (dry skin), or heel fissures (cracks in skin).

How does Urea work?

hydrating effects: Urea is a hygroscopic (retains and attracts water molecules) and draws and hold water into the skin cells.

Keratolytic effects: Urea can soften the outer skin layer and also assist to shed/release of the superficial skin layer leading to increase cell turn over.

Urea based topical creams are commonly made alone or in combination with other medication, to assist with dry/scaly skin.

Podiatrists at Foot Solutions Podiatry Clinic can assist in treatment of dry or scaly skin and also in choosing the right moisturiser, as well as detecting if any other skin conditions such as psoriasis or ichthyosis.

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