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How effective is topical coal tar?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Coal tar can reduce skin inflammation, and it helps to slow the abnormal growth of skin cells. It reduces itching and scaling, and can restore the skin's appearance. The FDA states that over-the-counter coal tar products with coal tar concentrations between 0.5 percent and 5 percent are safe and effective.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.