A substance is anhydrous if it contains no water, for example, salts lacking their water of crystallisation. The way of achieving the anhydrous form differs from one substance to another.
- Anhydrous TopicalThis medication is used as a moisturizer to treat or prevent dry, rough, scaly, itchy skin and minor skin irritations (e.g., diaper rash, skin burns from radiation therapy). Emollients are substances that soften and moisturize the skin and decrease itching and flaking. Some products (e.g., zinc oxide, white petrolatum) are used mostly to protect the skin against irritation (e.g., from wetness).
Dry skin is caused by a loss of water in the upper layer of the skin. Emollients/moisturizers work by forming an oily layer on the top of the skin that traps water in the skin. Petrolatum, lanolin, mineral oil and dimethicone are common emollients. Humectants, including glycerin, lecithin, and propylene glycol, draw water into the outer layer of skin. Many products also have ingredients that soften the horny substance (keratin) that holds the top layer of skin cells together (e.g., urea, alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic/citric/glycolic acid, and allantoin). This helps the dead skin cells fall off, helps the skin keep in more water, and leaves the skin feeling smoother and softer.
The cosmetic database provided by the Environmental Working Group lists anhydrous lanolin as a cosmetic ingredient with emollient, anti-static, surfactant and emulsifying properties. This material is commonly found in lip balms, shampoos, hair conditioners, skin cleansers, tanning lotions, baby lotions, body moisturizers and some makeup products.
- Most emollients can be used safely and effectively with no side effects. However, burning, stinging, redness, or irritation may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.If your doctor has prescribed this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: unusual changes in the skin (e.g., turning white/soft/soggy from too much wetness), signs of skin infection.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
- If you are using this product under your doctor’s direction, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.If your doctor has directed you to use this product, or if you use any prescription product on the skin, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, including other skin care products.
Source: Live Strong, http://www.livestrong.com/article/182699-uses-for-anhydrous-lanolin/