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Keratolytics: Uses, Common Brands, and Safety Info

The article discusses keratolytics, a class of drugs used to treat skin conditions by breaking down keratin and promoting the growth of new, healthy skin. It covers their uses, common brands, and safety considerations.


Keratolytics are a class of drugs that are used to treat various skin conditions characterized by the excessive accumulation of keratin in the outermost layers of the skin. These medications work by breaking down and softening the keratin, helping to exfoliate dead skin cells and promote the growth of new, healthy skin.


Keratolytics are primarily used in the treatment of conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne. They can also be helpful in managing conditions like calluses, corns, and warts. Additionally, keratolytics can be beneficial for individuals with dry or rough skin, as they aid in moisturization and improve skin texture.

Common Brands

There are several common brands of keratolytics available on the market. Some examples include: - Salicylic acid (Compound W, Oxy Face Scrub) - Urea (Carmol, Rea-Lo) - Resorcinol (Resinol) - Benzoyl peroxide (Clearasil, Proactiv) - Sulfur (Sulfacet-R, Plexion) It is important to note that these are just a few examples, and there are other brands and generic alternatives available as well. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to determine which specific brand or formulation may be best suited for individual needs.


When using keratolytics, it is essential to follow the instructions provided by the healthcare professional or as indicated on the medication's packaging. Some general safety considerations include:

1. Patch Test

Before using a keratolytic product for the first time, it is recommended to perform a patch test to check for any allergic reactions or sensitivities. Apply a small amount of the medication to a small area of skin and wait for any adverse reactions to develop over 24 hours.

2. Avoid Eye Area

Keratolytics should not be applied to the eyes, mucous membranes, or open wounds. If accidental contact occurs, rinse thoroughly with water.

3. Sun Protection

Some keratolytic products, such as those containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, can increase sun sensitivity. It is advisable to use sunscreen or protective clothing while using these medications to minimize the risk of sunburn and skin damage.

4. Side Effects

While generally safe, keratolytics may cause mild skin irritation, redness, dryness, or peeling. Discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional if severe allergic reactions, such as swelling, itching, or difficulty breathing, occur.

5. Precautions

Individuals with known allergies or sensitivities to any of the ingredients in keratolytic products should avoid their use. It is also important to inform the healthcare provider about any underlying medical conditions or medications being taken, as they may interact with keratolytics. In conclusion, keratolytics are a class of drugs used to treat various skin conditions characterized by excessive keratin accumulation. They are available in multiple formulations and can help exfoliate dead skin cells, promote new skin growth, and improve texture. However, proper usage, following safety guidelines, and consulting a healthcare professional are crucial for optimal and safe treatment outcomes.