11 Best Coal Tar Shampoos To Ease Psoriasis & Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

Written by Sneha Manandhar
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A healthy and smooth scalp is something that everyone desires. While some are naturally endowed with a healthy and nourished scalp, others suffer from skin conditions like psoriasis, seborrhoeic dermatitis, itchy skin, etc. In some cases the skin might turn scaly or flaky and shed too. Skin conditions like these call for some extra care with products and ingredients that help heal damaged skin.

One of the many ingredients used in such skin care products is coal tar. It offers antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, and anti-parasitic properties. It helps regenerate skin cells while providing restorative and reparative benefits. But are you in a tizzy as to which coal tar-infused shampoo to try for your skin condition? Worry no more, as we bring to you the 11 best coal tar shampoos to heal your skin of conditions like psoriasis, seborrhoeic dermatitis and the discomfort they tag along with them.

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Neutrogena T/Gel Extra Strength Therapeutic Shampoo
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Medicasp Coal Tar Gel Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
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ArtNaturals Scalp 18 Medicated Coal Tar Shampoo
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Psoriatrax Anti-Dandruff Coal Tar Shampoo
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Denorex Therapeutic Maximum Itch Relief Dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner
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DHS Tar Shampoo
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Pete & Pedro Control Anti-Itch Dandruff Shampoo
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MG217 Medicated Conditioning Coal Tar Shampoo
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Alphosyl 2 In 1 Medicated Coal Tar Shampoo
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Daylogic Therapeutic Coal Tar Dandruff Shampoo
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What Is Coal Tar And How Does It Work?

Coal tar is a keratoplastic drug used in many over-the-counter as well as prescription shampoos and other cleansing products that are mainly used to treat skin conditions like psoriasis, seborrhoea, severe dryness and itching. Its topical application is known to aid in the shedding of dead skin cells, thus aiding new cells to grow and is known to effectively reduce the itchiness caused due to dryness. When used in the correct quantities, this wonder ingredient is known to be highly effective and remedial in curing various skin conditions.The most commonly prescribed dosage of coal tar is 1-5%. One can use a coal tar shampoo once or twice a week, depending upon the severity of the skin condition. Although it is not advisable to use it for kids under 2 years of age, one can seek a medical practitioner’s help and use the prescribed amount to treat cradle caps and other skin conditions in children.

11 Best Coal Tar Shampoos For Psoriasis And Seborrhoeic Dermatitis-Free Skin

1. Neutrogena T/Gel Extra Strength Therapeutic Shampoo

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Relieve your scalp of itchiness and flaking with the Neutrogena T/Gel Extra Strength Therapeutic Shampoo. It incorporates 1% of coal tar extract with a unique Neutar technology in its formulation, which helps in reducing the symptoms associated with skin conditions like psoriasis and seborrhoeic dermatitis. This shampoo cleanses the scalp of impurities and you are sure to have a therapeutic experience resulting in an extra strong, healthy head of hair right after the first wash. Owing to its gentle formulation, this Neutrogena coal tar shampoo can also be used daily if you have severe symptoms.

Pros:

  • Alcohol-free
  • Aluminum-free
  • Effective after the first wash
  • Suitable for daily use
  • Dermatologist recommended

Cons:

  • Some might find the scent too strong

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2. Medicasp Coal Tar Gel Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Flaky skin settling on your clothes and everywhere you go? Not anymore as Medicasp brings to you a highly-effective coal tar gel anti-dandruff shampoo. Its fast-acting formula helps reduce the symptoms associated with various skin conditions. Redness, itchiness of the scalp, flaking, dry skin shedding will be gone for good, once you use this shampoo as it has .5% coal tar extract in its formulation. Feel more confident with skin that feels and looks healthy and free of dandruff, seborrhoeic dermatitis, psoriasis and other such skin conditions with this medicated coal tar shampoo.

Pros:

  • Alcohol-free
  • Allergen-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Good for daily use

Cons:

  • Might need a couple washes to work in some cases

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3. ArtNaturals Scalp 18 Medicated Coal Tar Shampoo

Smell fresh and get rid of flaky skin at the same time with the ArtNaturals Scalp 18 Shampoo Medicated Coal Tar Shampoo. Coal tar helps relieve the scalp of itchiness, flakes, and scaling while other botanical ingredients like lemon, cypress, and argan oils help keep the scalp and hair moisturized, nourished, and smooth. Go on and add this therapeutic all-natural coal tar shampoo to your shopping list to wave goodbye to scaly dry skin and flaunt hale and lustrous hair.

Pros:

  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Organic ingredients

Cons:

  • Some may find it slightly oily

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4. Psoriatrax Anti-Dandruff Coal Tar Shampoo

Healthy, clear, and dandruff-free skin is just a few washes away with the Psoriatrax Anti-Dandruff Coal Tar Shampoo. Carefully formulated with 5% coal tar and other potent ingredients, it helps to cleanse the skin of impurities and reduces scaling, flaking, and drying of the scalp. Healing dry and damaged skin will be easier than ever with this coal tar shampoo for dandruff. Use it regularly to stop the recurrence of psoriasis, seborrhoeic dermatitis, and other such skin conditions.

Pros:

  • Steroid-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free

Cons:

  • Contains sulfate

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5. Denorex Therapeutic Maximum Itch Relief Dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner

Bring out your dark clothes from the wardrobe as you no longer need to worry about flaky skin scattered all over. The Denorex Therapeutic Maximum Itch Relief Dandruff Shampoo And Conditioner provides relief from constant itching, redness, inflammation, and other symptoms associated with seborrhoeic dermatitis, psoriasis, and other such skin conditions. It has 1.8% coal tar in its formulation that helps regenerate damaged skin and promotes the growth of healthy skin cells. It provides skin therapy while soothing and renewing with a little help from provitamin B5.

Pros:

  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Allergen-free
  • Provides hydration
  • Makes hair smooth

Cons:

  • Menthol present in the formula may make the head feel cold

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6. DHS Tar Shampoo

A dry and damaged scalp will no longer be a cause of concern as the DHS Tar Shampoo is here to put a full stop to it. It is a powerful blend of ingredients like salicylic acid, .5% coal tar extract, and others that combat the symptoms of skin conditions like psoriasis, seborrhoeic dermatitis, etc. A product recommended by dermatologists, this coal tar salicylic acid shampoo will make sure all skin problems are solved and never return. Hydrated skin will be yours to flaunt with regular use of this fragrance-free coal tar shampoo.

Pros:

  • Cruelty-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Dermatologist recommended

Cons:

  • Some users might find the smell unpleasant

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7. Pete & Pedro Control Anti-Itch Dandruff Shampoo

If you have been putting off hair care because of skin problems, it is time to switch to Pete & Pedro Control Anti-Itch Dandruff Shampoo. It is made with a host of potent ingredients like peppermint oil, glycerin, tea tree oil, including two key active ingredients i.e. coal tar and menthol. Taking care of dry and flaky skin is now easy-breezy with 1% coal tar and 1.5% menthol imparts coolness and freshness to the scalp. Use this coal tar dandruff shampoo to get yourself back in the game with a healthy mane that is free of psoriasis, seborrhoeic dermatitis, and other such skin conditions.

Pros:

  • Paraben-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Featured on Shark Tank

Cons:

  • May not be best suited for a very oily scalp

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8. MG217 Medicated Conditioning Coal Tar Shampoo

Bid adieu to skin problems like psoriasis, seborrhoea, dandruff, eczema, and the like and prevent them from recurring by using the MG217 Medicated Conditioning Coal Tar Shampoo. It has 3% coal tar, which effectively reduces flaking and scaling of the scalp, making it appear smooth and healthy. This tar based shampoo also works as a conditioner that imparts moisture and nourishment to the scalp and hair. Show off a head full of strong and hale hair with this amazing coal tar extract shampoo that doubles up a conditioner.

Pros:

  • Herbal fragrance
  • Prevents recurrence of symptoms
  • Allergen-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Doubles up as conditioner

Cons:

  • Contains parabens

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9. Alphosyl 2 In 1 Medicated Coal Tar Shampoo

Get the benefit of two products for the price of just one by using the Alphosyl 2 in 1 Medicated Coal Tar Shampoo for skin conditions like psoriasis, seborrhoeic, and dermatitis among others. Tone down symptoms that tag along with these skin conditions while also cleansing the skin and providing moisture and nourishment. With 5% coal tar extract, you will surely be relieved from constant itching, redness, inflammation, and shedding of dry skin. Moreover this shampoo with tar also acts as a conditioner that deeply nourishes the scalp and hair, making it problem-free and healthy.

Pros:

  • Dermatologically recommended
  • Doubles up as a conditioner
  • Pleasant herbal fragrance
  • Works right from the first use

Cons:

  • May not be suitable for pregnant women

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10. Daylogic Therapeutic Coal Tar Dandruff Shampoo

Pamper your dull and damaged scalp with an invigorating wash using the Daylogic Therapeutic Coal Tar Dandruff Shampoo. With 1% coal tar extract as its key active ingredient, you are sure to be rid of itchiness, flaking, scaling, and shedding of the skin. Get relief from skin conditions like psoriasis, seborrhoeic dermatitis, eczema, etc and also be sure that these will never recur in the future. Rest assured that you will have healthy and smooth skin with an added extra strength with regular use of the Daylogic coal tar shampoo.

Pros:

  • Extra strength
  • Works in a couple washes
  • Dermatologist recommended
  • Phthalate-free
  • Gluten-free

Cons:

  • Contains parabens and sulfates

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11. Artnaturals Argan Scalp 18 Shampoo

Soak in all the goodness of argan and coal tar with the ArtNaturals Argan Scalp 18 Shampoo. If you suffer from skin problems like psoriasis, seborrhoeic dermatitis, eczema, etc, this professional shampoo will come to your rescue. The coal tar in it effectively reduces flaking and scaling of the scalp thus relieving symptoms like itchiness, redness, inflammation, etc. On the other hand, nourishing ingredients like aloe vera, tea tree oil and borage oil impart the necessary moisture and hydration to the scalp. Achieve a healthy scalp that houses smooth and shiny hair instantly with this Artnaturals coal tar shampoo.

Pros:

  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Organic ingredients

Cons:

  • Some users might find the smell too strong

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There you go. That was our list of the 11 best coal tar shampoos available in the market to effectively relieve you of psoriasis, seborrhoeic dermatitis, and other such skin conditions. But you may still be wondering which one you should pick for yourself. Here are a few pointers to help you out.

How To Choose The Best Coal Tar Shampoo

Coal tar is a by-product of carbonization and gasification of coal and is prescribed for topical use on dry and damaged skin. While looking out for the best coal tar shampoo for yourself, these are the few things that are to be kept in mind:

  • Ingredients

Coal tar shampoos combine many other ingredients that aid in relieving skin problems and restoring the skin. While all the ingredients might not suit everyone, these are some of the most commonly used ingredients that you can look out for:

Botanical oils: Essential botanical oils like argan, tea tree, lemon, coconut, borage, rosemary, etc. can be used to restore moisture, hydration, and lustre of damaged hair.

Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid is known for its cleansing properties. It penetrates deep into the pores and helps remove dirt and dead skin cells, thus reducing acne and redness.

Sulfur: Sulfur helps to effectively remove the build-up of flakes and scales that are formed on the scalp as a result of psoriasis.

Ketoconazole: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, ketoconazole helps to keep a check on flare-ups caused by psoriasis, seborrhoea, and other skin problems.

  • Dermatologically approved/recommended

A coal tar shampoo that has been approved by a dermatologist is far safer to use than the non-approved ones. Although 1-5% coal tar is safe to use topically, it is still advised to consult a dermatologist to get a better idea of the best-suited skin product for oneself.

  • User reviews

People who already use a specific product are usually able to give a lot of credible inputs based on their experience. Keep a keen eye out for user reviews to get a better idea of the pros and cons of the coal tar shampoos in the market before buying one for yourself.

  • Side-effects

Coal tar shampoos relieve the symptoms of skin problems but they might also have some minor side effects. Some common side effects include:

  • Staining of light-colored or blonde hair
  • Hair follicle problems (tar acne) upon long-term use
  • Slight burning sensation in some cases
  • Allergic reactions in rare cases

How To Use A Coal Tar Shampoo

Using a coal tar shampoo topically is not rocket science if you have successfully chosen the right one for yourself. Just follow the steps mentioned and you will have a squeaky clean mane that is free from skin problems in just no time.

Step 1: Wet your hair well with lukewarm water
Step 2: Take a generous amount of shampoo, rub it on to the scalp to work up a rich lather.
Step 3: Let the shampoo sit on the scalp for a few minutes
Step 4: Rinse thoroughly
Step 5: Repeat step 2 if needed.

It is advised to steer clear of direct sunlight, sunlamps, or tanning booths after the usage of a coal tar shampoo as it may make the skin sensitive and may cause sunburns or blisters.

Shampoos and soaps are commonly used skin cleansing agents. While they are formulated with standard ingredients for people with normal skin; special ingredients like coal tar are used in shampoos and soaps for those with skin conditions like psoriasis, seborrhoeic dermatitis, and the like. These skin conditions might also be accompanied by mild to severe itching, dryness, flaking, scaling, and also shedding of the flakes of scalp and skin. Ergo, using a shampoo or soap infused with coal tar aids in healing the skin from these conditions by providing the necessary nourishment required to help regenerate skin cells. Additionally, it provides relief from itching and reduces the flaking and scaling of skin, thus promoting the growth of healthy new skin cells.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a coal tar shampoo made of?

A coal tar shampoo comprises mostly all the ingredients found in a regular shampoo with an addition of coal tar in quantities ranging from 1-5% .

How does a coal tar shampoo help psoriasis?

Coal tar helps to slow down the rapid growth of skin cells while preventing scaling and flaking of the skin to make it look smooth. It also offers respite from itching and inflammation associated with psoriasis.

How does a coal tar help seborrheic dermatitis?

Coal tar is a keratoplastic drug that reduces the speed of growth of the skin cells and causes the shedding of dead skin cells, thus helping in relieving seborrhoeic dermatitis, also known commonly as dandruff.

How often should I use a coal tar shampoo?

Depending upon the condition of the skin, one can use a coal tar shampoo once or twice a week or daily. Although it is best to consult a physician to determine the correct dosage for oneself.

Are there any side effects from using a coal tar shampoo?

Although serious side effects of coal tar shampoo are very rare, it is seen that long-term use might cause hair follicle problems like tar acne. Other mild side effects reported are stinging/burning of the scalp, peeling of the skin, and discoloration or staining.

Can we use a coal tar shampoo on colored hair?

Coal tar might cause discoloration or staining, hence using it on blonde or light-colored hair might not be the best idea.

Can coal tar shampoos cause cancer?

After careful study and research, it is inferred that coal tar shampoos are not associated with an increased risk of cancer.

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Sneha Manandhar holds a Master’s degree in English from the University of Pune. She has previously worked with media and publication houses in varied capacities as a lifestyle writer, an editor, a copywriter, and a translator. She reviews beauty, skin care, and wellness products from specialized curated lists. She believes that SEO-driven content is the present and the future and keeps herself busy by dabbling in SEO-related tools and honing her editing skills.