Using A 20% Urea Moisturizer May Improve Skin’s Smoothness and Texture in Keratosis Pilaris

A recent study evaluated the effects of a moisturizer containing 20% urea on patients with keratosis pilaris (KP) and found that it may help to improve the skin’s smoothness and texture.

Keratosis pilaris

Keratosis pilaris is a benign dermatosis that consists of folliculocentric keratotic papules or pustules with surrounding erythema, making the skin appear rough and bumpy. Research suggests this condition affects an estimated 40% of adults and more than 50%-80% of adolescents worldwide. Many patients with KP have reported embarrassment, a decrease in self-confidence as well as social dysfunction as it concerns their skin.

The four-week, open-label study included 30 participants aged 18-65 years with a diagnosis of KP. After a five-day wash-out period, participants were asked to apply the 20% urea cream once a day to areas of KP for a total of four weeks.

Results showed that after the first week of consistent application, the skin showed a significant improvement from baseline by -9.25%. After four weeks of treatment, this percentage change increased to -11.39%.

The majority of participants from the study indicated satisfaction with the feel of their skin after four weeks. A total of 93.3% of participants noted improved skin softness, 91.7% improved smoothness, and 91.7% reported an improvement in skin texture. Furthermore, they also felt more confident (86.7%) and less embarrassed (81.7%) about their skin.

The study did not report any adverse events, reporting that “20% urea cream is generally well tolerated and suitable for use in treating KP.”


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