Medical Services Patients & Visitors Health Information For Medical Professionals Quality About Us
Text Size:  -   +  |  Print Page  |  Email Page

Coal tar (On the skin)

Coal Tar (kole tar)

Relieves drying, itching, flaking, scaling, or irritation of the skin caused by psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.

Brand Name(s):

Betatar Gel, DHS Tar, DHS Targel, Duplex T, Ionil-T, Neutrogena T/Gel, Neutrogena T/Gel Extra Strength, Polytar, Scytera, Tera Gel, Therapeutic Shampoo, X-Seb T Pearl, X-Seb T Plus Conditioning Shampoo

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to coal tar.

How to Use This Medicine:

Cream, Liquid, Shampoo, Foam, Soap

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Follow the instructions on the medicine label if you are using this medicine without a prescription.
  • Use this medicine only on your skin. Rinse it off right away if it gets on a cut or scrape. Do not get the medicine in your eyes, nose, or mouth. Do not use this medicine in or around your rectum or in the genital or groin area.
  • This medicine is not for long-term use.
  • You may pour 1 to 3 capfuls of Doak® Tar oil into warm bath water. You may apply Doak® Tar oil directly onto wet skin if used after you take a shower.
  • To use Doak® Tar shampoo, wet your hair and scalp thoroughly with water. Work the Doak® Tar shampoo into a lather and gently massage it over your whole scalp for 3 to 5 minutes before you rinse. Repeat this process one time and rinse thoroughly.
  • Missed dose: Apply a dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and apply a regular dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not put cosmetics or skin care products on the treated skin.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have a skin problem that involves a large area of your body. Tell your doctor if you are using other medicines or treatment for psoriasis, such as ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
  • Do not use this medicine to treat a skin problem your doctor has not examined.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Burning, itching, swelling, or redness in the treated skin area

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 10/4/2014


The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.
Copyright © 1984- Truven Health Analytics. All rights reserved.

Thomson & A.D.A.M
A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.