Umecta (Urea 40% in EFA Vehicle) and Treating Very Dry Skin

Written by on March 30, 2006 in Rosacea Moisturizer with 1 Comment

The following article details an AAD Poster Session where it was shown that adding Urea 40% to a formulation increased the ability of the moisturizer to retain moisture in the skin.

Urea (40%) in an essential fatty acid (EFA) vehicle improves barrier function in the stratum corneum (SC)

Ronald Rizer, PhD, Stephens and Associates, Colorado Springs, CO, United States; Peter Elias, MD, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, United States; Otto H. Mills, PhD, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ, United States

Urea has been in use for decades as a moisturizing factor in creams and lotions. However, the recent availability of urea 40% in an essential fatty acid (EFA) vehicle system (Butyrospermum parkii fruit oil, Helianthus annuus oil, glycine soja sterol, and stearic acid) presents a potential new treatment approach.

This poster reports on work done to assess the efficacy of this formulation to protect and enhance the skin’s barrier performance by resisting mechanical trauma.

A clinical study was conducted on normal healthy subjects using instrumental and laboratory evaluations. The full EFA formulation containing urea and the EFA vehicle alone were compared to an untreated control. Skin was pretreated for 4 days, and then the areas were sequentially tape-stripped to remove a portion of the stratum corneum (SC).

Skin barrier performance was assessed by measuring transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and SC cohesion was assessed by measuring SC protein adhering to the tape strips.

The EFA vehicle provided the basis upon which the complete formulation improved both SC integrity (TEWL) and SC cohesion (protein/strip).

This formulation significantly accelerated barrier recovery after tape stripping. The formulation of urea 40% in an EFA vehicle may be helpful when normal SC healing has been retarded by extrinsic factors or in treating skin conditions where barrier performance is compromised.

Poster Discussion Session P602, American Academy of Dermatology, 64th Annual Meeting, March 3-7 2006, San Francisco.

Supplement to Journal of The American Academy of Dermatology, March 2006, Volume 54, Number 3.

Author disclosure: Dr Elias, consultant; Dr Mills, consultant. 100% sponsored by JSJ Pharmaceuticals.


Improving chronically dry skin: Clinical, patient, and laboratory evaluations

Albert Kligman, MD, PhD, Marianne Stoudemayer, RN, Yaxian Zhen, MD, PhD, S.K.I.N. Inc., Conshocken, PA, United States; Otto H. Mills, PhD, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ, United States

Dermatologists have been reporting positive results in managing dry skin conditions using a formulation containing urea 40% in an essential fatty acid vehicle (Butyrospermum parkii fruit oil, Helianthus annuus oil, glycine soja sterol, and stearic acid).

These reports prompted a study using clinical, instrumental and cosmetic assessments. Ten women (56-80 years old) with chronically dry, rough, thick, scaly skin of the legs were enrolled after 2 weeks of no moisturizer use. All gave informed consent.

The test formulation was applied twice daily for 3 weeks, followed by 1 week of no applications. All evaluations were compared to baseline, except for the dermatologist’s clinical evaluations where the scores were compared to baseline, end of treatment, and the end of no treatment phase (regression).

At baseline and following active treatment, the following noninvasive tests were done: UVA photography, optical cohesion tomography (OCT), transepidermal water loss (TEWL), humectance, and hydration of the stratum corneum, conductance, capacitance, moisture accumulation, and high-resolution video-imagery.

Subjects assessed cosmetic attributes of the formulation. There were no reports of stinging, burning, or itching.

The clinical scores decreased by two grades during the application phase and held at that score (1.1) for the no treatment week. UVA photography showed changes in roughness, pigmentation and microtopography details. OTC showed the horny layer becoming more dense and coherent with fewer empty spaces and fissures. The epidermis also showed signs of stimulation of proliferation and thickening.

TEWL showed a definite decrease (1.0 g/m2/h), indicating improvement in barrier properties of the stratum corneum. Using the method of Tagami, an increase (121) in the capacity of the skin to absorb water was seen. Capacitance showed an increase (3.47), indicating hydration at a deeper layer.

High-resolution video imagery showed improvement in scales, flakes, glyphic and microtopography following treatment. This investigative study supported the clinical results reported by dermatologists.

Author disclosure: Dr Mills, consultant. 100% sponsored by JSJ Pharmaceuticals.

Poster Discussion Session P571, American Academy of Dermatology, 64th Annual Meeting, March 3-7 2006, San Francisco.

Supplement to Journal of The American Academy of Dermatology, March 2006, Volume 54, Number 3.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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1 Reader Comment

  1. Esperanza says:

    Hello!

    Very helpful articule!
    Where can I buy a 40% Urea cream?

    Thanks

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