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Replacement for 33% Coal Tar Product
Hi there, my name is Noah Vivian. I am a 30 year old male who has
been suffering from psoriasis since I was 22.
My case is
not severe, and I had a period of about 18 months when I was completely
clear. I also had a period of about 9 months when I was completely covered
by small spots. Basically though, I am a "knees and elbows” kinda
guy. Mostly elbows.
years ago I was prescribed a product called "Zetar emulsion —
antipruritic tar bath." This product was 30% coal tar! The prescribed
application was to put 3 capfuls of the black, sticky, smelly tar into a
tub of water and soak. Well, I did that a couple of times with little
effect. Then in frustration, I applied the product directly to my skin
while in the shower, and let it sit for about 5 minutes before rinsing. At
the time, 90% of my body was covered in psoriasis spots. After using my
method of direct application 3 times, I was COMPLETELY CLEAR!
that way for about 18 months, at which time the knee and elbow symptoms
recurred. I attempted to obtain more "Zetar" and found the
company had discontinued its production, and no other pharmaceutical
company made anything over 5% coal tar. I later found out about the
California lawsuit against several companies that made coal-tar based
psoriasis medication. It seems that no one will make a product containing
over 3-5% coal tar because of having to label it as a carcinogen, even
though topical use of coal tar for psoriasis treatment has not been proven
to cause cancer.
to you is, where can I get coal tar? Is there a stronger product out there
that I just don't know about? If it is no longer available in a prescribed
form with a high concentration of the active ingredient, is there any
other way to get it? If you can point me in the right direction, or add
any insight to my dilemma, please, get back to me.
Response: Ask your pharmacist
about Balnetar Therapeutic Tar Bath or Cutar Bath Oil Liquid Emulsion.
The tar products intended for use in the bath are logically higher
concentration out of the bottle — however, I don't know if either of
these is as strong as Zetar Emulsion.
Most of the other tar products for P are intended for topical
application and appropriately diminished in strength.
some Californians would be aghast at your story about applying the
bath-intended product directly to your lesions.
While I'm not privy to the research that suggested these products
are carcinogenic (and therefore shouldn't be available to Californians),
if I had the same results — for years — that you had, I'm sure I'd be
looking for a replacement product, too.
If either of
these products are available and appropriate for you, and if your
pharmacist can't or won't provide them (e.g., if you live in California)
you can probably find them on the Internet.
Another alternative may be using a coal tar derivative that is not sold “stand alone,” but is used by compounding pharmacists for products they mix and sell locally. I use such a compound for overnight occlusion on my scalp. I don’t, however, know what the tar ingredient my pharmacist uses is called. Good luck. -Ed