Vehicle-controlled effect of urea on normal and SLS-irritated skin
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It is known that, depending on the concentration, treatment with urea could improve skin barrier function, despite its penetration-enhancing properties. This controversial skin effect of urea has been explored systematically in this study in terms of the effect of vehicle on the performance of urea. In the first part, a series of four semi-solid emulsions with 5% (w/w) urea, varying in the type of emulsion, nature of emulsifier and polarity of oil ingredients, have been evaluated with regard to their skin hydrating and transepidermal water loss (TEWL)-modifying properties. Placebo samples were tested alongside the urea-containing ones. Two best performing moisturisers from the above were chosen for the second part of the study, in which sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS)-irritated skin was treated with both placebo and urea-containing samples. In addition to TEWL and skin hydration level, the erythema index (EI) was measured before, during and after the treatment. The results have shown that... barrier-improving and hydrating abilities of urea are bi-directional and dependent on both the type of vehicle used for its delivery and the state of skin.
Keywords:urea / moisturiser / skin hydration / TEWL / erythema index / emulsion
Source:International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 2004, 271, 1-2, 269-280
- Elsevier Science BV, Amsterdam