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Urea is used topically to treat hyperkeratotic conditions such as dry, rough skin, ichthyosis (rough, thick, and scaly skin), skin cracks and fissures, dermatitis (inflammation of skin), eczema, psoriasis, keratosis (rough, scaly patch on skin) and calluses (hard and thickened area on skin, especially hands or feet).

How it works

Urea, a diamide of carbonic acid, works by dissolving the intercellular matrix (substance found between cells) which results in softening of dry and rough skin.

Common side effects

Skin irritation, Skin redness


No medicine available

Expert advice

  • Do not use urea in large amounts or for longer duration than recommended.
  • Topical formulation of urea should be used only on the skin. Do not take it internally.
  • Avoid contact with eyes, lips, and mucous membranes.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you develop allergic reactions: rash; difficult breathing; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Does urea cause cancer?
No. Urea does not cause cancer.

Content on this page was last updated on 03 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)