Randomized, double-blind study with glycerol and paraffin in uremic xerosis

Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2011 Apr;6(4):748-52. doi: 10.2215/CJN.05490610. Epub 2011 Jan 21.


Background and objectives: Uremic xerosis is a bothersome condition that is poorly responsive to moisturizing and emollient therapy.

Design, setting, participants, & measurements: A randomized, double-blind, intraindividual (left versus right comparison), multicentric clinical study was performed on 100 patients with moderate to severe uremic xerosis for 7 days, during which the patients applied twice daily an emulsion combining glycerol and paraffin (test product) on one allocated lower leg, and the emulsion alone (comparator) on the other lower leg. This was followed by an open-labeled use of the test product on all of the xerotic areas for 49 days. The main efficacy parameter was treatment response on each lower leg, as defined by a reduction from baseline of at least two grades in a five-point clinical score on day 7.

Results: Among the 99 patients analyzed, the test product was highly effective with a treatment response in 72 patients (73%), whereas 44 patients (44%) responded to the comparator (P<0.0001, intergroup analysis). This was associated with an objective reduction in the density and thickness of the scales on day 7 (P<0.0001 compared with the comparator) and a substantial improvement of the uremic pruritus (75%) and quality of life of the patients at study end (P<0.001, intragroup analysis). The test product was very well tolerated, with product-related local intolerance (exacerbated pruritus, local burning, or erythema) occurring in only five patients (5%).

Conclusions: Uremic xerosis can be managed successfully when an appropriate emollient therapy is used.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Emollients / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Glycerol / adverse effects
  • Glycerol / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paraffin / adverse effects
  • Paraffin / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Skin Diseases / etiology
  • Uremia / complications*


  • Emollients
  • Paraffin
  • Glycerol