Allantoin is a well-known active ingredient in cosmetics for its soothing and healing effects. It is even said to alleviate symptoms associated with certain skin diseases such as psoriasis. But what is the reality? Here is an overview of the effects of allantoin in the case of psoriasis.
Psoriasis, a brief overview.
The psoriasis is a chronic skin disease characterized by red, thick, and scaly patches. The causes of psoriasis can be varied (genetic factors, stress, dietary habits...). Although all parts of the body can be affected, this dermatosis usually affects the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. The intensity of symptoms varies from person to person and according to periods known as flare-ups and remissions. Finally, it is important to manage psoriasis as early as possible in order to implement an appropriate treatment.
Allantoin, an active ingredient against psoriasis.
Allantoin is a nitrogenous chemical compound found in many botanical extracts, but also in snail mucus and the urine of certain mammals. First isolated in the early 19th century , the allantoin was quickly used for therapeutic and cosmetic purposes because it has numerous benefits for the skin. This active ingredient is particularly included in treatments intended for people affected by skin diseases such as acne. Allantoin also has interesting properties to alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis.
Allantoin has a keratolytic effect.
Keratolytics are often used to combat psoriasis and soften the scaly plaques it causes. Under their influence, the skin becomes smoother, more flexible, and softer. Allantoin acts by breaking the protein bridges that hold together the corneocytes, the cells of the horny layer. In doing so, it promotes cell renewal and the elimination of plaques due to psoriasis.
Allantoin is hydrating.
Furthermore, allantoin is known for its hydrating properties, which are relevant for alleviating the symptoms of psoriasis. Indeed, although the mechanism by which allantoin works is not fully understood, it is presumed that this active ingredient is a humectant capable of retaining water molecules and thus increasing the water content of epidermal cells. In doing so, allantoin combats transepidermal water loss.
Allantoin has anti-inflammatory properties.
Studies have shown that allantoin is capable of inhibiting cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), a molecule that contributes to the production of prostaglandins. These are responsible for certain inflammatory phenomena such as irritations and itching, and also interfere with the activation of the NF-κB protein, involved in the immune response at the level of p65 transactivation. This anti-inflammatory action of allantoin allows it to partially inhibit the pathogenesis of psoriasis.
Allantoin possesses healing properties.
Finally, the allantoin is renowned for its role in the healing process. Indeed, this active ingredient is involved in the fibroblastic proliferation and the synthesis of macromolecules that make up the extracellular matrix. Although its mechanism of action is still unknown, it has been observed that allantoin ensures an effective removal of necrotic tissues that prevent a wound from healing.
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DINICA R. M. & al. Allantoin from valuable romanian animal and plant sources with promising anti-inflammatory activity as a nutricosmetic ingredient. Sustainability (2021).