Which medications in the drug class Coal Tar are used in the treatment of Psoriasis?

Updated: Nov 20, 2020
  • Author: Jacquiline Habashy, DO, MSc; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Coal Tar

Coal tar is an inexpensive treatment that is available over the counter in shampoos, lotions, creams, or foam for use in widespread areas of involvement. It is particularly useful in hair-bearing areas. Some recent research has shown the 1% concentration may be superior in control of lesions to more concentrated preparations. Tar preparations may be especially useful when combined with topical corticosteroids. This may be accomplished by applying the products sequentially or, when available, obtaining them from a compounding pharmacy. Treatment with tar preparations may be especially useful when combined with topical corticosteroids.

Coal tar 0.5-33% (DHS Tar, Balnetar, Cutar, Polytar, Theraplex T)

Coal tar is antipruritic and antibacterial and inhibits deregulated epidermal proliferation and dermal infiltration. It does not injure the normal skin when applied widely, and it enhances the usefulness of phototherapy. It generally is used as a second-line drug therapy due to messy application, except for shampoos, which may be used and rinsed at once.


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