Advertisement

What is coal tar?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Coal tar is made from coal or petroleum and has long been used to treat psoriasis. It is available in various forms, including shampoos for scalp psoriasis and forms that can be added to a bath. Coal tar is effective, but it is messy. It has an unpleasant smell and can stain clothing. It is used less often than other creams and ointments. 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.
 

Continue Learning about Antipsoriatic

How effective is topical coal tar?
Donna Hill Howes, RNDonna Hill Howes, RN
Coal tar can reduce skin inflammation, and it helps to slow the abnormal growth of skin cells. It re...
More Answers
What are the side effects of acitretin?
Donna Hill Howes, RNDonna Hill Howes, RN
Acitretin can cause hormonal contraceptive methods to fail. If you take acitretin, you should consid...
More Answers
What are the side effects of using coal tar?
Donna Hill Howes, RNDonna Hill Howes, RN
Long-term use can cause a skin condition called tar acne. Coal tar may also make the skin sensitive ...
More Answers
How does topical vitamin D treat psoriasis?
Donna Hill Howes, RNDonna Hill Howes, RN
Topical vitamin D is a synthetic form of the vitamin that is applied directly to the skin. It treats...
More Answers

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.