6 Surprising Side Effects Of Coal Tar

Written by Chetana • 

Do you know that the dark black coal used to tar roads is also used in skincare products? It is used in skin ointments to get relief from skin itching, scaling and thickening of cells and similar symptoms of psoriasis. But wait, this very coal tar has side effects as well. And they are not trivial.

Would you like to know what the side effects of coal tar are? This post will help you out. Read on.

Side Effects Of Coal Tar

1. Irritation Of The Skin

When you use any coal tar product, such as a shampoo or a lotion, there is always a possibility of skin irritation. Some people even experience stinging or burning sensations, swelling, redness or tenderness. If you suffer from any such symptoms, you must immediately stop the use of the coal tar product and consult your dermatologist. Prolonged usage can also cause swelling, stinging or burning of the skin.

2. Allergies

Since coal tar is a mix of various compounds, there is always a possibility that a coal tar ointment or shampoo can cause allergic reactions. If your skin shows allergic signs such as hives, rashes, swelling of the mouth or face, trouble breathing or tightness in the chest, then, it can be possibly because of the coal tar cosmetic you are using. Sometimes the allergic reactions are so severe that they may require immediate medical consultation and treatment. In severe cases, the allergic reaction stimulated by the coal tar product can lead to fatal anaphylaxis.

3. Increase In Sensitivity To Sun

Coal tar cosmetics has a tendency to increase the sensitivity of your skin or scalp to the sun. This condition is known as photosensitivity, which increases your risk of getting severe sunburns when exposed to direct sunlight. Hence, doctors advise avoiding direct exposure to the sun at least for 24 hours when you are using coal tar products. Moreover, a person using coal tar cosmetic should also avoid exposure to sunlamp as it can cause irritation or burning. Thus, use of coal tar products limits your movements.

4. Not Good For Pregnant Women

Coal tar is directly applied on the skin and is easily absorbed by the skin cells. There is always a possibility that the active ingredients in this compound may be transferred into breast milk. Hence, nursing mothers should avoid using such a product during pregnancy and breastfeeding period.

5. Coal Tar Can Be Carcinogenic

Coal tar has been found to cause cancer in animals. Although no such evidences have surfaced concerning humans, the state of California advises a conservative approach when using products carrying coal tar as one of the ingredients. The U.S Food and Drug Administration have restricted the use of coal tar to 0.5 to 5 percent in all the topical products to avoid the potential danger of cancer. People using coal tar products should be careful while using it, and should prevent pets and children from ingesting it through licking or touching.

6. Staining Of Nails And Skin

Coal tar has a particular odour that people find unpleasant. Moreover, uses of coal tar products lead to temporary staining of nails and skin and can permanently stain the fabric. If you are using a coal tar shampoo, you must get ready for a temporary discoloration of your hair color, which may start looking grey for some time. However, the staining of the hair can be washed off by using a different hair shampoo.

So, the next time you are using a coal tar product, make sure that you test it first on your skin to check its sensitivity and also wear gloves to avoid staining. While most people do not develop a sensitivity to coal tar, we always propagate that prevention is better than cure! Hence it is always advisable to beware of these coal tar side effects.

And if you know of any other side effects of coal tar, share with us! There is a comment box below!

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