Ammonium lactate lotion is a lotion of prescription designed to cure irritated, cracked and excessively dry skin, or scaly skin. It also provides temporary relief of the itching associated with these conditions. Composed of alpha-hydroxy acid, it is effective at hydrating the outer layer of the skin. Although it is relatively safe, treated areas should not be exposed to ultraviolet light.
Ammonium lactate contains 12% lactic acid neutralized with ammonium hydroxide. This produces a slightly acidic lotion of ammonium lactate, an ammonium salt of alpha-hydroxy acid known as lactic acid, or 2-hydroxypropanoic acid. Lactic acid has the chemical formula COOHCHOHCH3.
In addition, the commonly prescribed 12% ammonium lactate formulation also contains mineral oil, glyceryl stearate, PEG-100 stearate, propylene glycol, polylene glycol 40 stearate, glycerin, magnesium aluminum silicate, lauryl ether 4, alcohol cetyl, methylparaben and propylparaben, methylcellulose, perfume and water.
Ammonium lactate acts to hydrate the skin. The outermost layer of the epidermis of the skin is known as the stratum corneum. The amount of water contained in this layer determines whether the skin is sufficiently hydrated. When the stratum corneum contains 10% or more of water, the skin is hydrated, soft and flexible; below 10%, the skin is dry, cracked and can become scaly and irritated, say the National Institutes of Health.
Ammonium lactate provides relief to irritated and dry skin by increasing the moisture content of the layer of the stratum corneum of the skin. Lactic acid, and the ammonium salt of lactic acid, function as hygroscopic compounds, absorbing and distributing relatively large volumes of water.
In addition to providing symptomatic relief of dry skin, the instructions on the ammonium lactate label indicate that lactic acid and ammonium lactate reduce excessive epidermal keratinization, which is the thick skin found in patients with conditions such as icthyiosis, a genetic disease usually characterized by dry, thick, scaly or flaking skin. On the other hand, a 1989 study carried out in the Department of Dermatology of the National Cancer Institute showed that ammonium lactate could also treat large inflammatory cysts and abscesses.
The most common side effect of using 12% ammonium lactate topical lotion is a stinging or burning sensation at the site where it is used, occurring in approximately 3% of all patients, and in approximately 10% of all patients with ichthyosis.Erythema or rash and desquamation occur in approximately 2% of patients. Side effects that occur much less frequently are irritation, dryness, eczema, hyperpigmentation or increased skin color and petechiae, which are small red or purple spots caused by broken blood vessels.
Laboratory studies in rats reported by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health indicate that topical treatment in mice with up to 30% of the formulations of ammonium lactate for two years was not toxic. I do not increase the formation of tumors. However, topical application of 12% ammonium lactate in mice did increase the rate of tumor formation when exposed to ultraviolet light. Therefore, when using ammonium lactate formulations, patients should avoid using it on areas of the skin that may be exposed to ultraviolet light.
Use in pregnant or lactating women
Although laboratory experiments on animals have not indicated any negative effects on fetuses or a decrease in fertility, there is not enough evidence to indicate that the same is true for humans. Therefore, 12% ammonium lactate should only be used in pregnant or lactating women if clearly necessary, according to research published on the drugs site. com.