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)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Neutrogena T/Gel, Neutrogena T/Gel Extra Strength, DHS Tar, DHS Targel, Therapeutic Shampoo, Doak Tar Shampoo, Tera Gel, Reme-T, Ionil-T, MG 217 Medicated Tar, Duplex T, X-Seb T Plus Conditioning Shampoo, X-Seb T Pearl, Betatar Gel, Ionil-T Plus

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to coal tar.

How to Use This Medicine

Cream, Liquid, Shampoo, Foam, Soap
  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • If you are using this medicine without a prescription, follow the instructions on the medicine label.
  • This medicine is for use on the skin only. Do not get it in your eyes, nose, or mouth. Do not use it on skin areas that have cuts or scrapes. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away.You should not use this medicine in or around the rectum (rear end) or in the genital or groin area.
  • This medicine is not for long-term use.
  • When bathing, 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 taking a shower.
  • To use Doak® Tar shampoo, wet hair and scalp thoroughly with water. Work the Doak® Tar shampoo into a lather and gently massage it over your whole scalp for about 3 to 5 minutes before rinsing. Repeat this process one time and rinse thoroughly.
If a dose is missed:
  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, apply it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to apply the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine container and any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

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 use cosmetics or other skin care products on the treated skin areas.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows 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.
  • The cream and soap forms of this medicine contain a chemical that may cause cancer.
  • Do not use this medicine for a skin problem that has not been checked by your doctor.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.

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
Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
Adam Data Copyright 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. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

For information 410.787.4000

© 2015 UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center.  All rights reserved.

301 Hospital Drive, Glen Burnie, MD 21061 | 410-787-4000 | TTY 410-787-4498