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    Information about Dithranol

    Dithranol uses

    Dithranol is used in the treatment of psoriasis, keratoses and dermatitis.

    How dithranol works

    Dithranol is an antimitotic drug that inhibits the process of cell proliferation in the skin and thereby reduces the scaling and thickening of the skin. It helps to clear patches of psoriasis by restoring normal skin development.

    Common side effects of dithranol

    Burning sensation, Skin irritation

    Available Medicine for Dithranol

    No medicine available

    Expert advice for Dithranol

    • You must remove dithranol by washing the skin or scalp one hour after application as prolonged exposure may cause skin burning and excessive soreness. 
    • You must use these three highest strengths: dithranol 0.5% w/w, 1% w/w and 2% w/w, only if you have failed to respond to the lower strengths.
    • Do not apply dithranol on areas of folded skin, such as groin, axilla or underneath the breasts as the skin’s response to dithranol tends to be stronger in these areas.
    • Avoid contact of the cream with eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Wash your hands thoroughly after using dithranol cream.
    • Treated areas of skin, hair and scalp may develop a purple or brownish tinge which will gradually disappear on stopping the treatment.
    • Do not use dithranol to treat areas of psoriasis on your face.
    • Contact with fabrics, plastics and other materials may cause permanent staining and should be avoided.
    • If you have been regularly using topical corticosteroids to treat your psoriasis, it is important that you allow yourself a treatment-free interval of at least one week before starting to use Dithranol. You can use a plain emollient (skin moisturizer) on your skin in the meantime.

    Frequently asked questions for Dithranol


    Q. Is Dithranol a steroid?

    Dithranol is not a steroid

    Q. What is Dithranol used for?

    Dithranol is used for treatment of subacute and chronic psoriasis (a skin disease that causes skin cells to grow too quickly, resulting in thick, white, silvery, or red patches) including psoriasis of the scalp.

    Content on this page was last updated on 22 February, 2018, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)