Allantoin is a chemical compound produced naturally by several organisms, counting bacteria, plants and animals. This chemical compound often forms an ingredient in several skin creams and lotions in addition to cosmetics, toiletries and a number of hygiene products. Moreover, allantoin is also used in drugs meant for treating dermatological conditions like acne, eczema, impetigo and psoriasis.
Allantoin derives its name from the allantois, which is basically an evolving purgative organ where this chemical compound builds up. The excretory organ allantois is present in almost all mammals, barring humans and apes of higher rank. Allantois is produced by these animals in the form of a spin-off of purine catabolism, wherein uric acid, the waste product, is oxidized as well as broken down. Some plants like comfrey, chamomile, sugar beet, wheat sprouts, and tobacco seeds also contain allantoin. The herbal extract obtained from comfrey is a very familiar source of this chemical compound. Aside from obtaining allantoin from natural sources, this chemical compound can also be made artificially from animal urea.
An odourless, non-toxic, safe and non-allergic chemical compound, allantoin is obtained from natural resources and also prepared artificially. When marketed in its raw form for use in lotions, homemade soaps and bath products, this chemical compound is available as a crystalline, white powder. This chemical compound is moisturizing as well as keratolytic, which means that it helps keratin present in the skin to become softer. This particular attribute of allantoin facilitates the skin to heal rapidly and also bind more moisture effectively. As a result, products containing this chemical compound are effective for dry skin, in addition to healing scars, wounds and burns. In addition, allantoin is also useful for treating sunburn, cold sores, chapped lips, diaper rash and other similar skin conditions.
Even people who are not suffering from any particular skin disorder may find using products with allantoin beneficial, as such products help to keep the skin smooth, soft as well as healthy. This chemical compound also aids in safeguarding the skin from various irritants. You may also add allantoin to various cosmetic products with a view to neutralize the irritating and drying effects of other ingredients present in products you use regularly, such as detergents, soaps, alcohols and acids. As a result, people whose skin is sensitive may like to use products containing allantoin. However, there is no proof that this chemical compound is effective in reducing the negative effects of the normal aging process.
Various ointments and creams containing allantoin are employed for treating a variety of skin problems such as wind burned skin due to exposure to extreme cold, diaper rash in infants, sunburns caused by extreme exposure to the sun or radiation from other sources, chapped lips as well as to alleviate the uneasiness caused by cold sores. In addition, applying allantoin topically to burn injuries, cuts and scrapes also help them to heal more rapidly, by soothing the affected areas and protecting them from infections. Allantoin also seems to accelerate wound healing by promoting growth of new skin cells. Occasionally, physicians recommend the use of allantoin for healing skin burns caused by radiation, especially for cancer patients who undergo radiation therapy. Allantoin is also available in the form of a shampoo blended with coal tar. Applying this shampoo helps to cure dandruff, eczema, scalp psoriasis, seborrhea and other conditions related to the scalp.
Since, allantoin possesses anti-inflammatory properties and the aptitude to alleviate skin irritation, this chemical compound is used in several personal care and cosmetic products. When used in skin care products, allantoin aids to keep the skin moisturized and softer and also works in the form of a keratinolytic. A keratinolytic substance helps to soften the tough and stiff protein called keratin present in the epidermis - the external layer of the skin. As allantoin works to make keratin softer, it helps the skin to retain more moisture and remain hydrated and supple. At the same time, the skin is softer and healthier. Since keratinolytics also help to liquefy the substances that bind the skin cells together, it helps the epidermis to shed dead or unwanted cells more easily. This, in turn, makes the skin surface smoother. It is important to note that in addition to lessening skin irritation, allantoin also helps to moisturize and enhance the skin's texture.
Allantoin is an important ingredient in an assortment of cosmetic products, personal and skin care products, such as body lotions, eye creams, baby powders, moisturizers, hair gels, acne treatments, hand creams, lipsticks, lip balms, mouthwash, toothpaste, toners, bath products, sunscreens and shaving creams. The concentration of allantoin in all these products is anything between 0.5% and 2.0%.