Combined Tar-Anthralin Versus Anthralin Treatment Lowers Irritancy With Unchanged Antipsoriatic Efficacy. Modifications of Short-Contact Therapy and Ingram Therapy

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1987 Jul;17(1):19-24. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(87)70165-0.


In 44 patients with chronic plaque psoriasis anthralin therapy was used as high-strength short-contact therapy in a bilateral comparison of anthralin versus 5% crude coal tar-anthralin combination. These two trials were undertaken with and without ultraviolet (UV) irradiation immediately after anthralin therapy. The combined tar-anthralin therapy was significantly less of an irritant during the first 3 weeks of treatment than anthralin alone, and it did not decrease the antipsoriatic efficacy. The use of UV irradiation, either with anthralin or tar-anthralin combination, did not produce an additional therapeutic effect. These findings lead us to prefer combined tar-anthralin therapy because of its lower irritancy in comparison with anthralin alone and they show the ineffectiveness of additional UV irradiation under the conditions of this study.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Anthralin / administration & dosage*
  • Anthralin / adverse effects
  • Anthralin / therapeutic use
  • Coal Tar / administration & dosage*
  • Coal Tar / therapeutic use
  • Drug Combinations
  • Erythema / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*
  • Psoriasis / radiotherapy
  • Ultraviolet Therapy


  • Drug Combinations
  • Coal Tar
  • Anthralin