Clinical and biophysical evaluation of the efficacy and safety of urea 20% cream and lotion in patients with xerosis

Miquel Ribera, Joaquim Coll, Alfons Mirada, Carles Trullás, Dolors Costa, Carlos Ferrándiz

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Introduction: There are few studies on the efficiency of 20% urea preparations for the treatment of xerosis. Thus, this work was carried out to test the clinical and biological efficiency, as well as the tolerance, of the 20% urea treatment for xerosis both in the cream and in the lotion formats. Material and method: Two open clinical studies based on observation were carried out, both containing 20% urea. Both studies, study A and study B followed identical protocols. For the study with urea 20% cream, 40 volunteers with ages ranging from 35 to 60 were taken, and for the study with urea 20% lotion, 25 volunteers with ages ranging from 37 to 57 were taken. The totality of the volunteers had previously been diagnosed with xerosis. The treatment consisted of 2 applications a day during 30 days. The biophysical non-invasive techniques used to monitor the effects evaluated some physical properties of the skin, such as: skin hydration, transepidermis water loss, descamation and skin biomechanical properties (elasticity, toning and extensibility). Results: Both studies A and B showed a statistically significant improvement of the clinical parameters (erythema, descamation, hyperkeratosis, and itching) from day 0 to day 30. Skin dryness, measured by means of a visual analogical scale (VAS), also showed a significant improvement. In the biophysical study, hydration, elasticity, extensibility and toning increased significantly, while the transepidermis water loss decreased significantly both with the cream and with the lotion. The global efficiency was of a 95% for the cream and of a 79% for the lotion. No adverse reactions were observed. Comment: The results of the clinical evaluations showed the efficiency and good tolerance of both the cream and the lotion when used to diminish the clinical symptoms of xerosis. The monitoring with biophysical non-invasive techniques proved that both the cream and the lotion improve skin hydration and its capacity to retain water. This increase in skin hydration also results in a significant improvement of its elasticity and extensibility. Conclusions: The application of 20% urea as cream or as lotion twice a day for a month shows a good tolerance and it significantly improves the clinical symptoms of xerosis. Furthermore, the biophysical non-invasive techniques make it possible to confirm the improvement of skin hydration, the improvement of the skin biomechanical properties and its barrier function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005


  • Biophysical non-invasive techniques
  • Skin hydration
  • Skin physical properties
  • Urea
  • Xerosis


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