Tar preparations

These are mainly used for treating psoriasis as described in chapter 3.

Tar has an anti-inflammatory effect and seems to suppress the epidermal turnover in lesions of psoriasis. The various tar pastes are generally too messy to use at home and are most suitable for dermatology treatment centres. Standard tar paste contains a strong solution of coal tar 7-5% in 25 g of zinc oxide, 25 g of starch, and 50 g of white soft paraffin.

There are numerous proprietary preparations that are less messy and do not stain but are not so effective. They are useful for treating less severe psoriasis at home. Examples are: Alphosyl cream (Stafford-Miller), Pragmatar (Bioglan), Psoriderm (Dermal); alphosyl HC (Stafford-Miller) and Carbo-Cort (Lagap) contain hydrocortisone as well.

Dithranol can be used in a paste containing salicylic acid, zinc oxide starch, and soft white paraffin. It has to be applied carefully avoiding contact with the surrounding skin, as it can cause severe irritation. It is best to start with a low concentration.

For short contact treatment relatively clean preparations in a range of concentrations are available, such as Dithrocream (Dermal), Anthranol (Stiefel), and Psoradrate cream (Stafford-Miller).

Ichthammol is a useful soothing extract of shale tar. It can be made up as a 1% paste in yellow soft paraffin with 15% zinc oxide.

Bath preparations are useful for dry skin and widespread psoriasis. Coal tar solution (20%) can be used or Polytar Emollient (Stiefel) or Psoriderm.

Tar shampoos are useful for treating psoriasis of the scalp. Polytar (Stiefel), T-Gel (Neutrogena), Capasal (Dermal), and Alphosyl (Stafford-Miller) are some examples.

Natural Treatments For Psoriasis

Natural Treatments For Psoriasis

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