Updated: Jan 15
Do Handmade Pine Tar Soap Actually Help Treat Psoriasis?
What do Kim Kardashian, LeAnn Rimes and Eli Roth all have in common? Other than taking over your Insta feed, these (and many other) celebs also have psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a highly visible skin condition that can be difficult to treat, especially when faced with an aisle full of over-the-counter “solutions” promising quick results for cheap.
One of the more promising over the counter options, however, is handmade pine tar soap, which has been a remedy for skin conditions since ancient times. Here’s a quick overview of just about everything you need to know about handmade pine tar soap and psoriasis.
Handmade Pine Tar Soap is just what it sounds like: soap made with tar.
Certain ingredients from pine tar are thought to help ease the symptoms of psoriasis.
Psoriasis, for any newbies in the room, is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes skin cells to build up in inflamed, red or silver, itchy patches. It can also lead to arthritis.
Besides potentially affecting your joints in the long run, psoriasis flare-ups are, simply put, uncomfortable, embarrassing, and really, really annoying.
Like most psoriasis treatments, handmade pine tar soaps can’t cure this condition.
However, when used in appropriate amounts, it can reduce psoriasis symptoms and, in most cases, won’t lead to any unpleasant side effects (keep reading, we’ll explain those).
Keep in mind that more severe cases of psoriasis typically require more intense treatment, such as light therapy and oral medications. Your doctor can help you figure out the best plan for you.
Pine tar is thought to have a host of benefits. In addition to slowing the overproduction of rough skin cells, research shows it relieves itching, fights inflammation, is antibacterial, and anti fungal.
For a bar of soap to be called “Pine Tar Soap” it needs to have at least 20% Pine Tar in each bar.
You’ll need to chat with your doctor and do some experimentation to find the right fit, but they can be bought over-the-counter as:
Using Pine Tar in a soap is one of the most effective ways to use it. For best results be sure to let the soap sit on your skin for a couple of minutes before rinsing.
Stronger concentrations of tar soap, for very serious cases of psoriasis, are sold by prescription only. Again, your doc will know what’s best and can help you craft the right treatment plan.
Shop our handmade pine tar soaps here.
Just like you need to wait for that delicious takeout order, it might take a minute before you see results from handmade tar soap. (All good things…) Most see clearer skin within a few weeks.
Users of pine tar products have reported a reduction in the thickness of skin cell (also called plaque) buildup. Handmade Pine Tar soap has also been shown to give skin a smoother and less inflamed appearance. It can also reduce itching. Sweet relief!
Pine Tar products are meant for short-term control over psoriasis flare-ups. Because tar is a powerful ingredient, you should not use tar soaps and other tar products more than a few times per week for up to several weeks.
Be aware that handmade Pine Tar soaps and other pine tar products tend to be messy, and can lighten skin or stain clothing and bedding.
Also, to be honest, they kind of stink. Not like a skunk or anything, just prepare yourself to emit a blacktop-esque aroma (sudden urges to play hopscotch and kickball may follow).
Pine Tar is only one ingredient that is known to help ease psoriasis symptoms. If pine tar is not your thing, here’s a list of other ingredients to look for in soaps and other psoriasis products available over the counter and by prescription:
Aloe Vera. Soaps, containing aloe Vera have been shown to reduce the symptoms of psoriasis. They have a moisturizing, healing effect on skin. Click here to shop our Aloe Vera Soap
Oatmeal soaps. Used by many people with psoriasis, who swear they can help relieve itchy skin and redness. If you’ve ever had chicken pox, odds are your parents dunked you in a tub of this stuff. Click here to shop our Oatmeal and Honey Soap
Tea tree essential oil. Adds antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti fungal properties to soaps and other products, and can reduce inflammation associated with psoriasis. Click here to shop our Tea Tree Soap
If you’re trying over-the-counter soaps or other psoriasis products, pay close attention to how they affect your skin. If your psoriasis worsens, stop using these treatments right away and call your doctor.
Treating your psoriasis will take some trial and error to determine what works best for you.
Over-the-counter pine tar soaps and products are just one treatment option that is helpful to many people with psoriasis. If you have a mild to moderate case, handmade pine tar soap may be for you.
If pine tar soaps and other products aren’t helping, don’t give up! There are plenty of options out there to help you find relief. Keep your doctor in the loop and remember that finding the right treatment can take time.