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Does anyone use urea cream for eczema?

(19 Posts)
itshailingitspouring Mon 09-May-11 10:36:08

I'm trying to find out a bit more about this, and not getting very far, so hoping to tap into Mumsnet Wisdom! DD has (2) has been suffering since the winter, and we've been through quite a few emollients etc. trying to find something that suits her. She doesn't have it terribly badly - it mostly doesn't bother her too much, but it's in quite a lot of places: buttocks, backs of knees, spots on arms and face, front of foot, sometimes incipient eczema all over her back and tummy. DH had it hideously in childhood, for years - was hospitalised with it at one stage, so I really want to try and find a preventative regime that works.
A few months back, while abroad, a pharmacist recommended that we try a 3% urea cream. It's been fantastic - the really nasty bits don't go away with it, but if we get them under control with steroid, then we can keep it pretty much at bay.
However this cream (Eucerin 3%) isn't available in the UK. GP recommended that we try non-urea ones, but they just don't seem to work. Have tried diprobase (ineffective), epaderm (allergic), aveeno (better than the others but it gradually comes back).
What I can't find out is whether there's any reason why we shouldn't just use a 5% urea cream on her regularly. Are there reasons why this is a bad idea? Are there side-effects (long or short term)? I've spent quite a lot of time digging around online and I can't find anything conclusive either way (guess that's not surprising)...
Can anyone share their advice/experience?
Thank you!

suiledonne Mon 09-May-11 14:15:23

I remember looking into this when dd's eczema was very bad. My reasoning was that her nappy area was the only soft, unaffected area of her whole body and I thought the urea excreted might be helping.

I decided against it at the time because the doctor told me that creams with urea can sting a lot.

I know what it is like to struggle to find something that works and if you have found it I would go with it since it doesn't seem to be causing any problem re:stinging.

Have you asked a doctor/pharmacist or check with the manufacturer?

Bickies Mon 09-May-11 14:18:27

My son also 2 was diagnosed with infantile eczema at three months. Thankfully it has gotten a lot better and now all we use is Eumovate Ointment 0.05% for body and Hydrocortisyl 1% for face. Thankfully there have been no flare ups for a long time however on the advice of his Skin Specialist every morning and night I put Emulsifying Ointment BP all over and it just keeps the skin moist. I also put in a cap of Doublebase bath emolient and I used to use Doublebase moisturiser (very good).
Sorry I can't help you on the urea question.
Good luck with it all and hopefully she will grow out of it.

ifaistos Mon 09-May-11 14:27:21

I use eucerin and it does help - for me and ds. It doesn't sting ime. I was recently in greece and ds had a bad flare up. A paed prescribed a cream for the pharmacy to make up that contained a simple emollient mixed with 5% urea and some steroid cream. Ds is 6mo. I'd be interested to hear why it's not available in the uk.

itshailingitspouring Mon 09-May-11 15:01:45

Thanks for experiences posted - interesting not many folk have tried urea. I've tried it on myself, and for me at least it's a miracle cream: I have super-dry skin, and it's amazing. Doesn't hurt, and it actually works (ie it really humidifies my skin, rather than just adding a layer of grease). And I don't think it hurts DD: she's very vocal, and she doesn't complain about it at all, even on inflamed bits.

I don't know why the 3% cream isn't available in the UK.

I'd really really like to hear from anyone else who has experience - ideally longterm experience - of using a urea cream either on themselves or their child. I'm going to take DD back to the GP to discuss options this week or next, but nice though GP is this really isn't her speciality, and she's suggested that she just gives me 'what I want for DD'...

alibubbles Mon 09-May-11 16:22:22

DH uses Calmurid, the main ingredient is Urea, he gets 5 tubes a month so has a season ticket, they can all be bought with out prescription (OTC) E45 itch has 5% Urea and can be bought OTC, Eucerin Intensive is 10% Urea also OTC cream is £7.15 for 100ml lotion is £7.69 for 250ml.

Balneum is 5% and they do a 500ml pump pack at £17.09. there is also Aquadrate 10% Urea, 100gm £3.64

itshailingitspouring Mon 09-May-11 16:59:20

Alibubbles, thank you! Does your DH use it for eczema? Has anyone talked to him about side-effects or problems from using it?
We've got the Balneum (smells, and for some reason she was just give 2x 50g, enough for 2 weeks...) I've bought the Eucerin 5% OTC and tried it on her, I'm just a bit fussed about whether it's ok to use longterm (GP not sure, and would rather we found something else that works - fine by me, but not sure what that would be!)
Thanks for posting.

alibubbles Mon 09-May-11 17:42:29

DH has been using Calmurid for at least 20 years, no side effects that we can see, except really soft clear skin. He uses Oilatum in the shower every day, literally spreads it on by hand after a shower, lets it dry, then moisturises with Calmurid.

He has extremely dry skin that used to crack and bleed, it itched in the winter, the sun clears it up and the water softener helps as we are in a very hard water area.

itshailingitspouring Tue 10-May-11 13:10:22

That's really interesting, thank you: a solid vote of support for urea cream.

Does anyone use it regularly on a small child for eczema? Has it been discussed with you as an option?

Basically, all my googling/pubmed searching etc., supported by Alibubbles' DH's experience is that it's generally v well tolerated and super-effective, so I'm completely at a loss to understand both why it's not more widely prescribed, and why the doctors I've talked to about it have been hesitant/mildly discouraging. Hence the search for anecdotal evidence!

ifaistos Wed 11-May-11 21:33:08

I'd be interested too to hear any views on long-term effects. I'm using it regularly on my 6mo. All I can say is that having had him treated for eczema in three different countries (due to circumstances, we didn't travel for his treatment), doctors tell you completely different things. No one's mentioned aqueous cream to me outside the UK, for ex, whereas in the UK it's the first thing GPs will suggest.

itshailingitspouring Thu 12-May-11 19:29:17

Bumping for sufferers!

Ifaistos - what are the different things that have been recommended? I know aqueous cream is falling out of favour (theories that it damages the skin), but would be really interested to know what other treatment regimes there are.

itshailingitspouring Fri 13-May-11 20:34:20


itshailingitspouring Mon 16-May-11 11:14:33

Am bumping one last time then giving up - does NOBODY use urea cream on kids?

And if you don't, go on, try asking the GP about it next time - it's worked WONDERS for dd, and if they won't prescribe it then you can come back here and tell me why...

Pretty pretty please??!

lamanolita Mon 16-May-11 11:50:32

Hi ihip! I did use urea cream (am Spanish and is readily availablae in Spain) on myself and kids when they were small. Worked a treat, however also had a water softener installed at the same time and by the time they were 3 both had grown out of it. Not sure why it's not prescribed here as a rule, probably becuase there are so many other things out there on the market. Ideally, if you live in a hard water area and you can afford it, get a good water softener, which will take away the irritants to dry skin of calcium and magnesium (chalk and lime) and continue to user the cream that works. Try looking up Talk Eczema too, an org backed by the National Eczema Soc for more info...! Good luck :-)

itshailingitspouring Mon 16-May-11 21:14:42


Water softener, really? will look into that. Thanks v much for posting, I agree, it does seem strange that it's not used more, especially as it's not insanely expensive...

Schulte Wed 18-May-11 14:36:10

Am off to Germany next week and I will try to buy some Eucerin - I am pretty sure it's sold there. Will report back! But re. your problem.. can't you order it online? Or dilute the 5% cream by mixing it with something like Diprobase?

Sally54 Fri 08-Jul-11 18:22:54

I have recently discovered Eucerin Intensive 10% Urea - you can buy it from Sainsburys. It is a miracle cream as it appears to have had real impact with the eczema on my face which has been bad since January of this year. I also use Bio Oil over night.

JaneyT1974 Sat 29-Dec-12 10:14:58

I know this is an old thread but came across it whilst googling urea cream for babies.

my son has been prescribed by his gp a 10% urea cream for his baby eczema, does anyone else have experience of using this. have applied it a couple of times and doesn't seem to sting him, which was one concern. does anyone know of any long-term bad effects of using urea cream?

midastouch Tue 29-Jan-13 23:48:43

My daughter was prescribed the cream for exzema, she had very dry itchy and bleeding skin under her knees and creases on feet (i actually tried it on my horribly dry hands before i put it on her as i was convinced it would sting but it didnt) the doctor told me to use it only when it was very sore and to carry on using e45 to keep it moisturised her skin was sooo much better after 3 days. I havent had to use it since.

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