E45 itch relief cream contains two active ingredients, urea and lauromacrogols. Urea is a substance that is found naturally in the skin, which by its nature is very attracted to water. It is used to help rehydrate dry, scaly skin. Lauromacrogols have the properties of local anaesthetics and soothe and relieve itchy skin.
Dry skin results from lack of water in the outer layer of skin cells known as the stratum corneum. When this layer becomes dehydrated it loses its flexibility and becomes cracked, scaly and sometimes itchy.
The stratum corneum contains natural water-holding substances, including urea, which retain water seeping up from the deeper layers of the skin. Water is also normally retained in the stratum corneum by a surface film of natural oil (sebum) and broken-down skin cells, which slow down evaporation of water from the skin surface.
The skin dries out when too much water evaporates from its surface. This increases as we get older, and is made worse by washing, because hot water and soap remove the layer of natural oil on the skin surface.
When urea is applied to the skin it penetrates the stratum corneum, where it readily absorbs and retains water. This increases the capacity of the skin to hold moisture, and the skin therefore becomes rehydrated. The moisturising base that the urea is mixed in also provides a layer of oil on the surface of the skin, which helps prevent water from evaporating from the skin surface. Both actions soothe and soften the skin, and reduce the scaling and itching of dry skin conditions such as eczema and ichthyosis.
Moisturisers are helpful for all dry skin conditions, particularly eczema and dermatitis, which get worse when the skin is allowed to dry out. Used regularly they help restore the skin's smoothness, softness and flexibility by helping the skin retain moisture.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
By smoothing and softening the skin moisturisers can increase the absorption of other medicines that are applied to the skin. This can be useful in conditions such as eczema because it improves the ability of other medicines, such as corticosteroid creams, to penetrate the skin and reduce inflammation.
However, if they are applied at the same time, moisturisers can also dilute the active ingredient of other medicines applied to the skin, so you should try to avoid applying them within about half an hour of medicated creams, ointments and lotions.
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