Efficacy of Topical Coal Tar in Children With Atopic Dermatitis

2018-03-16 00:30:18 | BioPortfolio


Rationale/hypothesis: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is an inflammatory skin disease, occurring most frequently in children. Currently, topically applied corticosteroids are used as a standard anti-inflammatory treatment. When a corticosteroid with a high potency is used for a long period of time, adverse effects like skin atrophy and systemic effects may occur, especially in children. In addition, corticophobia among patients is an issue that warrants alternatives for the treatment of AD in children. An alternative treatment is the topical application of coal tar, which is known to be an effective and safe treatment for AD for ages, and is used in our department for decennia. Although there is convincing evidence in the literature on the safety of coal tar, evidence in the literature on the efficacy of coal tar in the treatment of AD is lacking, especially in children.

Objective: To evaluate efficacy of topical treatment with coal tar compared to topical treatment with corticosteroids in children aged 1 to <16 years with moderate to severe AD

Study design: investigator-initiated, parallel-group randomized controlled pilot study

Study population: Children aged 1 to <16 years with moderate-severe AD

Intervention: Patients will be randomized in two groups: (1) topical treatment with coal tar or (2) topical treatment with moderate potency corticosteroids for a treatment duration of 4 weeks.

Main study parameters/endpoints: The primary outcome is the percentage change in EASI score at week 2.

Study Design


Atopic Dermatitis


Topical coal tar, Topical corticosteroids


Department of Dermatology




Radboud University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2018-03-16T00:30:18-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A by-product of the destructive distillation of coal used as a topical antieczematic. It is an antipruritic and keratoplastic agent used also in the treatment of psoriasis and other skin conditions. Occupational exposure to soots, tars, and certain mineral oils is known to be carcinogenic according to the Fourth Annual Report on Carcinogens (NTP 85-002, 1985) (Merck Index, 11th ed).

A disseminated vesicular-pustular eruption caused by the herpes simplex virus (HERPESVIRUS HOMINIS), the VACCINIA VIRUS, or Varicella zoster (HERPESVIRUS 3, HUMAN). It is usually superimposed on a preexisting, inactive or active, atopic dermatitis (DERMATITIS, ATOPIC).

Fluorides, usually in pastes or gels, used for topical application to reduce the incidence of DENTAL CARIES.

Two-ring crystalline hydrocarbons isolated from coal tar. They are used as intermediates in chemical synthesis, as insect repellents, fungicides, lubricants, preservatives, and, formerly, as topical antiseptics.

The widespread involvement of the skin by a scaly, erythematous dermatitis occurring either as a secondary or reactive process to an underlying cutaneous disorder (e.g., atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, etc.), or as a primary or idiopathic disease. It is often associated with the loss of hair and nails, hyperkeratosis of the palms and soles, and pruritus. (From Dorland, 27th ed)

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