What is Xenaderm&Reg;?

K.C. Bruning

Xenaderm® is a topical ointment or cream made of trypsin, balsam Peru, and castor oil. It helps wounds to heal by fighting bacteria, sloughing off dead skin, and aiding in the regeneration of skin. The drug also offers pain relief. It is most commonly used for skin ulcers and bed sores.

Xenaderm ointment will prepare a wounded area for treatment.
Xenaderm ointment will prepare a wounded area for treatment.

Trypsin is an enzyme found naturally in the digestive system. When used for wounds, it essentially helps to prepare the area for healing. Trypsin breaks down dead skin cells, making it possible for new skin to grow.

Some individuals may experience hives as part of an allergic reaction to Xenaderm.
Some individuals may experience hives as part of an allergic reaction to Xenaderm.

Balsam Peru is a mild antiseptic. It is a resin that comes from the Myroxolon balsamum tree native to South America. Balsam Peru is the bacteria fighting agent in Xenaderm®. The ingredient works by increasing blood flow to the site of the wound which helps it to aid in the growth of new skin cells. Balsam Peru is a common ingredient in many other products, including cough medications and perfumes.

Castor oil is made from the castor bean. It has a low molecular mass, which means it can penetrate deeply into the skin. Castor oil protects the wound and helps to soothe discomfort. By providing moisture, it prevents further damage to the skin around the wound. Overall, this encourages the healing process.

Xenaderm® ointment or cream is usually applied to the wound two times a day. The wound can then be covered with a bandage in order to ensure that the medication is fully absorbed, but a doctor should be consulted in order to ensure that bandaging is appropriate for a particular wound. It should be used regularly and at even intervals.

The most common side effect of Xenaderm® is stinging or burning on the skin when the medication is applied. This reaction is usually mild and temporary. The most serious side effects are signs of an allergic reaction, which can include hives; difficulty breathing; and swelling of the tongue, throat, lips, or face.

Though allergic reaction is possible, Xenaderm® is generally considered to be safe for most patients. The most commonly allergenic element of Xenaderm® is Balsam Peru. Though pregnant and nursing women are typically advised to consult a doctor before using the medication, there is no evidence that it is harmful to an unborn or nursing child.

The combination of Balsam Peru, castor oil, and trypsin can also be found in generic form. In addition to Xenaderm®, it is also sold under other brand names. The most common of these other brands are Dermuspray®, Granulderm®, Granumed®, and TBC®.

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