Chris Schach

Author Bio -


* An old, but still effective, medication for treating psoriasis.

Dithranol, also known as anthralin, is an old but good treatment for stubborn patches of psoriasis. It's not often prescribed anymore, but it is one of most effective preparations available for treating psoriasis.


Dithranol comes in a cream that is applied to psoriasis patches. Leaving Dithranol on too long will result in red and sometimes tender skin. Weaker 0.1-0.5% preparations are applied overnight, but stronger 1-2% products are applied for between 30 minutes and one hour depending upon the formulation. The \short contact\" method is a higher concentration that's applied for only ten minutes then washed off with soap which neutralizes changes in the medicine when exposed to air. This method allows for stronger concentrations as well as less burning and staining. Treatment can be continued daily until the psoriasis clears up.

Side Effects

Dithranol temporarily stains the skin a yellowy-brown and permanently stains clothing fabrics. It may cause a local burning sensation and irritation.

Notes of Precaution

* Dithranol can be used on the scalp but because it stains it should not be used on those with blonde hair.

* The staining is harmless and will discontinue after treatment; you should not try to wash or scrub it off.

* Only use on psoriasis patches; do not use on normal skin.

* Keep Dithranol out of your eyes.

* Keep Dithranol away from clothing or fabrics.

* Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun when using Dithranol.