Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Why Does Coal Tar Help Psoriasis

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Psoriasis Skin Care: Coal Tar Helped me A LOT for my psoriasis

Thereâs not one right product for everyone. Thatâs why weâve created the broadest line of therapeutic skin treatments for allâover psoriasis relief.

Temporarily relieves itching, flaking, redness & dryness
Controls scalp buildup associated with psoriasis
Recognized by the National Psoriasis Foundation

MG217 Psoriasis Multi Symptom Relief 2% Coal Tar Medicated Ointment 4 oz Jar

Use Of Otc Emollients And Creams

Topical emollients and creams are agents that sooth and soften the skin. Emollients, such as lanolin, are rich in fats and oils. They work by moisturizing the skin and protecting it from drying.

Regular use of emollients may lessen the need for anti-inflammatories like corticosteroids in psoriasis.

Ask your dermatologist, family doctor, or pharmacist for their top recommendations.

Heads Up: Anthralin For Scalp Psoriasis

Anthralin is a prescription topical cream or shampoo for the scalp that slows down the growth of skin cells.

  • Anthralin, like coal tar, can be messy, stain fabrics, and has a strong odor.
  • Anthralin can also stain the skin or hair with a temporary reddish brown color.
  • Treatment may be applied for short periods to help lessen staining and irritation. Follow your healthcare providers instructions for use.

Like coal tar, anthralin may be used in combination with UV light to help with skin symptoms of psoriasis, including dryness, redness, flaking, scaling, and itching.

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The First Line Of Therapy

Mild to moderate psoriasis is initially treated with a low to mid-potency corticosteroid cream, lotion, spray or ointment – such as:

  • hydrocortisone

Lower potency products, such as fluocinolone can be use on the face or other sensitive areas.

Lotions or foams are best for the scalp, creams are best for oozing lesions, and ointments can treat dry, raised, or scaly lesions.

Higher potency topicals are reserved for thicker, tough-to-treat areas like elbows or knees. Topical treatments work best on mild and smaller areas of psoriasis.

A Brief History Of Coal Tar

MG217 Multi Symptom Relief 2% Coal Tar Medicated Psoriasis ...

A tar can be made from burning organic materials under high pressure. This forms a dark, sticky residue comprised mainly of hydrocarbons and related compounds. The first medicinal use of pine tar was described by the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates . Coal tar has been applied to skin conditions for over 2,000 years, but the treatment was formally recognized in the 1600s. Since this time, tars obtained from coal, pine, beech, birch, and juniper have been used to treat scabies to sarcoidosis .

In the past 100 years, the use of tars has become more selective. A significant development in the 1920s was the highly effective combination of coal tar and ultraviolet therapy for psoriasis .

Despite historical use, a range of modern therapies often replace coal tar:

  • Emollients
  • Combination psoralen and UVA-radiation
  • Immunosuppressants

But despite its age and the advent of much more focused modern medicines, coal tar is still an FDA approved treatment for dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis and remains a tremendously popular and effective treatment.

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When To See A Doctor

Psoriasis may cause intense itching or pain and can affect someones confidence. People should speak to their doctor or dermatologist about managing their symptoms and options for treatment.

If someone experiences any side effects as a result of using coal tar, they should make their doctor aware of this and speak to them for further advice.

The AAD advises that people should immediately stop using coal tar if they develop:

  • severe stinging or burning
  • worsening psoriasis
  • swelling

If symptoms dont improve with any psoriasis treatment or new symptoms appear, such as joint pain, a person should see their doctor.

What To Look For

There are literally hundreds of different coal tar preparations found on drugstore shelves and online. When choosing a product, opt for one that has undergone testing with an independent certifying body like the U.S. Pharmacopeia , NSF International, or ConsumerLab. In this way, you will know for sure that the product contains the ingredients listed on the label in the declared potency level.

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How Do You Get Rid Of The Coal Tar Shampoo Smell

Some brands contain added fragrances to help mask the strong smell of coal tar. However, coal tar has a strong scent that may still linger despite fragrances. Moreover, sensitive skin may react negatively to perfumes added to shampoo.

You may not be able to get rid of the coal tar smell entirely, but you can help reduce it by using leave-in detangling and conditioning sprays on towel-dried hair.

Topical Coal Tar: An Old Stand

DANDRUFF: Shampoo Review/ Coal Tar Shampoo for Dandruff and Psoriasis/ Dry Itchy Scalp no more?

Coal tar is one of the oldest known treatments for psoriasis. These products are effective in treating mild to moderate psoriasis with few side effects, but can be messy with a pungent odor, and leave stains on clothes and other fabrics.

The exact way that coal tar treats psoriasis is not known. However, it does increase the skin’s absorption of UVB light for an added effect.

Coal tar can be found over-the-counter in shampoos, creams and lotions and can be used in combination with corticosteroids and emollients to soften the skin.

It is also used with ultraviolet-B light in a treatment known as Goeckerman treatment.

  • Goeckerman treatment is a course of UV light therapy combined with coal tar for more moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.
  • It is messy and smelly, but can be effective however, not many doctors offer this treatment The regimen is usually given daily over several weeks at a time.

Read Also: Can A Dermatologist Help With Psoriasis

Psoriatrax Coal Tar Psoriasis Shampoo

Coal Tar concentration: 1.8 %

The addition of menthol in this Denorex shampoo makes it a worthwhile option for those who may be looking for additional anti-itch properties. Plus, the invigorating menthol scent also helps counterbalance any noticeable coal tar smell. Because its formulated as a shampoo and conditioner in one, youre basically getting two products here ââ¬â and its conditioning properties help prevent it from drying out your hair. Another recommendation from Dr. Shamban, its been highly rated by more than 350 Amazon customers with one of them calling it the best dandruff shampoo ever made. To see the best results, youll want to use it at least twice a week.

One success story:This has helped my psoriasis on my scalp more than I ever hoped. I was worried it would dry my curls out too much and I would be left with unmanageable frizz. Instead of a frizzy mess, my curls were left hydrated and I now have good hair days everyday! The scale has decreased dramatically, the itchiness has completely subsided, and spots are decreasing slowly in size.


Dr. Ava Shamban, M.D., board-certified dermatologist

Studies referenced:

Zeichner J. A. . Use of Topical Coal Tar Foam for the Treatment of Psoriasis in Difficult-to-treat Areas. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 3, 37ââ¬â40.

Bad Habit: Staying Up Late

Its a vicious cycle: itchy, painful skin makes for some restless nights, but a lack of sleep makes people with psoriasis itchier. Poor sleep habits induce an internal stress on the body that makes your immune system get out of whack, and that exhaustion and stress can make psoriasis symptoms worse. The best fix is to get ahead of a breakout by perfecting your sleep routine. Ask your doc about melatonin or try a mediation app like Headspace that could help you wind down faster if youre having trouble relaxing on your own.

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Coal Tar May Stain Your Skin And Clothes

When using coal tar, you may notice staining to the skin, but this discoloration should quickly wear off when you stop using the medication. However, coal tar may permanently stain your clothing, so avoid any contact between the medication and your clothes.

When applied to the scalp, coal tar may temporarily discolor blond, bleached, or tinted hair.2

Topical Retinoids: Vitamin A Derivatives : MG217 Psoriasis 3% Coal Tar Therapeutic Scalp ...

Tazarotene is a vitamin A derivative that affects epidermal cell growth in psoriasis and exhibits some anti-inflammatory action. It is also available as a generic option.

  • Tazarotene comes in a cream or gel and is used primarily for mild to moderate psoriasis. Tazorac is also approved for acne treatment.
  • Other brands of tazarotene, approved for other uses, include Arazlo , Fabior and Avage
  • In 2019, a combination of halobetasol, a topical corticosteroid, and tazarotene from Bausch Health was FDA-approved for plaque psoriasis.

Acitretin is an oral retinoid, also a form of vitamin A, that comes as a capsule .

  • It is used for severe forms of psoriasis that do not respond to other treatments. Acitretin is not a cure for psoriasis, and your psoriasis may come back after you stop taking this medication.
  • It is also available as a generic option.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings

Important: View the patient counseling information for Tazorac or Soriatane to learn more about the Contraindications and Warnings for Use in pregnancy and breastfeeding and discuss this information with your doctor.

In addition, you must NOT become pregnant while taking acitretin and for at least 3 YEARS after stopping acitretin, so that the drug can be eliminated to below a blood concentration that would be associated with an increased incidence of birth defects.

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What Is In Coal Tar

Coal tar doesnt have a definitive composition. Every batch has a slightly different formulation, based on the type of coal, temperature, distillation, and many other factors. This is unlike most other modern medicines and seems contrary to evidence-based medicine how can a product that cant be replicated be reliably studied?

What we do know is that crude coal tar contains over 10,000 compounds. This is then refined further into a solution to remove any harmful products, for example, ammonia-derivatives. The resulting mixture is then formulated into creams, ointments, soaps, or shampoos . At this stage other active ingredients can be added :

  • Calamine
Counteracting the bodys inflammatory response can treat many skin conditions and improve symptoms.
UV-radiation improves psoriasis. Coal tar sensitizes the skin to light, making therapy more effective than either used alone.

Table 1. List of possible mechanisms for coal tar in skin conditions.

When To Speak With Your Doctor

Talk to your doctor before using tar soap to treat psoriasis. They can give you tips on how much soap to use and how often.

If you experience the symptoms of an allergic reaction while using tar soap, seek medical help immediately. Those symptoms may include:

  • swelling
  • hives
  • chest tightness

If the treated area becomes red, itchy, or irritated, or your symptoms worsen or dont improve, call your doctor as soon as possible.

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Is Coal Tar A Good Option For Helping Psoriasis

What do Kim Kardashian West, LeAnn Rimes and Eli Roth all have in common? Other than taking over your Insta feed, these celebs also have psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a highly visible skin condition that can be difficult to treat, especially when faced with an aisle full of over-the-counter solutions promising quick results for cheap.

One of the more promising OTC options that is hyped and even recommended by some dermatologists is tar soap, which has been a remedy for skin conditions since ancient times. Heres a quick overview of just about everything you need to know about tar soap and psoriasis and if its worth it to use it.

Does Ketoconazole Cause Hair Loss

Psoriasin Deep Moisturizing Ointment – 2% Coal Tar – Stops Psoriasis Itching, Scaling, Redness…

In some individuals, it may also cause either oiliness or dryness of the hair or scalp, abnormal hair texture, or discoloration. It can cause permed hair to lose its curl as well. In rare cases, ketoconazole shampoo can result in hair loss, so talk to your doctor right away if you notice this side effect.

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Tablets Capsules And Injections

If your psoriasis is severe or other treatments have not worked, you may be prescribed systemic treatments by a specialist. Systemic treatments work throughout the entire body.

These medications can be very effective in treating psoriasis, but they all have potentially serious side effects. All the systemic treatments for psoriasis have benefits and risks. Before starting treatment, talk to your doctor about your treatment options and any risks associated with them.

If you’re planning for a baby, become pregnant or are thinking of breastfeeding, you should also speak to your doctor first before taking any new medicine to check it’s suitable for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

There are 2 main types of systemic treatment, called non-biological and biological .

Historical Use Of Tar Soap

Coal tar has been used to treat skin conditions since ancient times. For over 100 years, it has been used to treat psoriasis.

In the past, over-the-counter coal tar soap contained coal tar byproducts, like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons . Today, true coal tar soap is hard to get without a prescription.

You can still buy pine tar soap that contains pine tar and pine tar oils without a prescription. Some brands for sale today have been in production since the 1800s and use the same formula.

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Vitamin D Analogues: How They Help

Vitamin D analogues are used to help control overactive skin cell production by binding to the vitamin D receptors on the skin cells.

Topical vitamin D analogues such as:

  • calcitriol

are effective at slowing the growth of the skin cells and can be used with emollients and topical corticosteroids applied to the skin.

Calcipotriene with betamethasone is a vitamin D analogue that is already combined with an antiinflammatory corticosteroid. Brands include: Taclonex, Taclonex Scalp, Wynzora and Enstilar.

The most common side effect with these agents is mild skin irritation. Some topical vitamin D analogues may take up to 6 to 8 weeks for their full effect.

Oral calcitriol can also be used for psoriasis.

Best Shampoo For Psoriasis In 2021

MG217 Psoriasis Medicated Conditioning 3% Coal Tar Formula ...

I suffered from Psoriasis when I wrongly assumed it was dandruff. But just like with dandruff, the best shampoo for psoriasis on your scalp can work wonders for controlling this condition.

Dandruff can be effectively treated with a good diet and a high-quality anti-dandruff shampoo that has Ketoconazole in it.

But Psoriasis on the other hand is a condition if left untreated can cause serious problems in the future.

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Firstly I had to STOP scratching my head as that made things worse.

But as I kept treating my hair with a good Psoriasis shampoo, the scaling and the flakiness stopped and I stopped scratching my head.

Best Shampoos For Psoriasis
3% Salicylic Acid

So what is Psoriasis?

There are a number of scalp problems that currently exist and affect many individuals however, nothing quite compares to scalp psoriasis.

Characterized by red scaly patches of skin, scalp psoriasis is as painful as it is inconvenient and can be notoriously hard to manage without the right tools.

Psoriasis is caused by a build-up of skin cells which results in thick, red scaly patches that can be itchy and painful with symptoms ranging anywhere between mild to severe.

Ingredients such as coal tar, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, and more can be found in most medicated shampoos that are designed to alleviate and control psoriasis symptoms.

Hopefully, we can help. Read on to find out more about the best shampoos for psoriasis.

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The Heartbreak: What Are The Causes Of Psoriasis

The exact causes of psoriasis are not fully known. Many researchers believe it is a combination of factors — including family history, a faulty immune system, and effects from the environment.

  • In people with psoriasis, certain white blood cells that normally fight off infection instead attack healthy cells . It is the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the U.S.
  • New skins cells are formed too quickly and result in a layer of dead, scaly skin and white blood cells that remain on the top layer of skin instead of sloughing off.
  • These patches of skin and lesions are known as psoriatic lesions or plaque psoriasis.
  • Psoriasis can lead to feelings of embarrasment, self-consciousness, and worry.

Salicylic Acid: A Keratolytic

Salicylic acid is available in both over-the-counter and prescription strengths. It’s known as a “keratolytic”, which means it loosens dead skin from the psoriasis plaque to reduce scaling.

Salicylic acid is available in many different OTC formulations, such as lotions, gels, creams, foams, shampoos and others, to treat both skin and scalp psoriasis.

Salicylic acid can be used in combination with other treatments, like corticosteroid creams, anthralin, or coal tar to increase effectiveness.

  • It may take up to several days before your symptoms improve.
  • Common side effects of salicylic acid may include skin irritation, peeling, rash, or blanching of the skin area.

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Coal Tar Making A Psoriasis Comeback


LAS VEGAS Topical tar therapy for psoriasis may be making a comeback thanks to more user-friendly formulations.

That trend is happening in Europe and may be replicated in the United States, Dr. Linda Stein Gold said at a dermatology seminar sponsored by Skin Disease Education Foundation .

“Topical therapy is the bread and butter of psoriasis treatment,” and coal tar has been used for centuries to control the symptoms of plaque psoriasis, said Dr. Stein Gold, director of dermatology research at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit.

The Goeckerman regimen, a combination of topical tar and ultraviolet light therapy in use since the 1920s, proved “exceptionally” effective and durable, she noted, with an average time of 18 days to 90% clearing of psoriatic lesions and 90% of patients remaining clear for up to 8 months.

But tar therapy was time consuming, a logistical hassle, and aesthetically unpleasing, and its use declined in recent decades with the advent of systemic biologic medications. “People weren’t using tar before because it’s messy and it smelled. Now we have some better options,” Dr. Stein Gold said.

One of the newer topical solutions is a transparent gel of 15% liquor carbonis distillate , the equivalent of 2.3% coal tar . “It doesnt discolor bleached hair” when used for scalp psoriasis, it is quick-drying, and it comes in bottles with “dab-on” applicators, she said.

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