How does urea cream work?

Written by k.t. parker
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Urea is one of the natural moisturising factors (NMF) present in the outer layer of skin, According to DermNet NZ. Dry skin has moderate to severely reduced urea levels. Urea cream is an emollient, which is a substance that reduces moisture loss from the skin.

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Water is attracted to urea, allowing urea cream to draw water into skin cells for rehydration while softening the outer skin layer and increasing the efficacy of other topical medications, such as cortisone.


Urea cream is beneficial for several conditions, including dry skin, eczema, dissolving diseased nails, ichthyosis and psoriasis.

Prevention and Solution

Long-term use of urea cream actually increases the skin cells' ability to utilise and retain moisture and makes routine skin cell regeneration more efficient, according to DermNet NZ.


Urea cream has anti-itch and anesthetic properties that soothe skin irritation while inhibiting future flareups, according to


Urea cream shouldn't be used on broken skin, open wounds, infected areas or by anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding.

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