A humectant-rich formulation including 15% alphahydroxy acids and 15% urea increased skin hydration, removed scales and reduced thickness of hyperkeratotic skin in patients with xerosis cutis.
The randomized, bilateral, controlled and evaluator-blind study was published in Skin Research and Technology (November 2013). Researchers Marie Loden, et al, followed 12 healthy volunteers and 50 patients with hyperkeratotic feet. They evaluated changes in the skin through blinded investigators, patient self-assessment and noninvasive biophysical measurements of skin barrier function, including transepidermal water loss (TEWL), erythema, skin thickness and hydration.
In patients who used the humectant-rich formulation, the researchers found an increase in skin hydration, removal of scales and reduced thickness of hyperkeratotic skin. They write, “Skin barrier function was improved in normal skin, but no changes in TEWL were noted in the feet. No difference between once and twice-daily applications was found. Some smarting and stinging was noted.”
Joshua Fox, MD, medical director of Advanced Dermatology P.C., notes that, in the study, even normal skin became more resistant to external insults, such as low humidity, and was able to more efficiently hold moisture after use of the new cream.