Tar Acne

Tar acne, also known as coal tar acne, is a skin condition characterized by the development of pimple-like bumps on the skin. In terms of skincare, tar is sometimes used as an ingredient in acne treatments. The substance is known to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in reducing the redness and inflammation associated with acne breakouts. It also helps to unclog pores, which can prevent future breakouts. The most common forms of tar used in acne treatments are coal tar and wood tar. These are often found in medicated soaps, creams, and lotions. It is important to note that tar can be harsh on the skin and can cause excessive dryness and irritation. As such, it is best used in moderation and under the guidance of a dermatologist.


  1. Hormonal Imbalance: Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, can trigger acne. This is because these changes cause an increase in the levels of androgens, which are hormones that increase oil production in the skin.
  2. Genetics: Acne can run in families, so if someone in your family has had acne, you are more likely to develop it as well.
  3. Bacteria: Acne is caused by the overgrowth of Propionibacterium acnes, a type of bacteria that normally lives on the skin. This bacteria can cause inflammation and redness in the skin, leading to the formation of pimples and other types of acne.
  4. Dead Skin Cells: When dead skin cells accumulate on the surface of the skin, they can block the hair follicles and cause acne.
  5. Clogged Pores: The production of sebum, an oily substance that moisturizes the skin, can sometimes cause clogged pores. This leads to the formation of blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.
  6. Certain Medications: Certain medications, such as corticosteroids, androgens, and lithium, can trigger acne.
  7. Diet: A diet that is high in processed foods, sugar, and dairy products can increase the risk of developing acne.
  8. Stress: Stress can cause an increase in the production of androgens, leading to an increase in oil production and the formation of acne.


The symptoms of tar acne include:

  1. Pimple-like bumps: Tar acne appears as small, red, and raised bumps that are similar in appearance to acne pimples.
  2. Blackheads: The blackheads are formed due to the accumulation of oil and dead skin cells within the pores.
  3. Whiteheads: These are small, raised bumps that are filled with pus.
  4. Inflammation: Tar acne is often accompanied by redness and swelling, which can cause discomfort and itching.
  5. Pain: In severe cases, tar acne can cause pain and tenderness when touched.
  6. Scarring: Prolonged and severe tar acne can lead to scarring and discoloration of the skin.
  7. Irritation: Tar acne can cause skin irritation and itching, especially in individuals with sensitive skin.
  8. Dryness: Tar acne can cause dry, flaky skin due to the harsh ingredients in the tar products used to treat the condition.

It is important to consult a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment of tar acne.



  1. Physical examination: A physical examination of the skin and facial area is done to determine the type and severity of acne.
  2. Skin swab test: A swab test may be taken to determine if bacteria is present and contributing to the acne.
  3. Blood test: A blood test may be done to check for hormonal imbalances and determine if other underlying health conditions may be contributing to acne.
  4. Wood’s Lamp Test: A special light may be used to examine the skin and identify any fungal infections that may be contributing to the acne.
  5. Dermoscopy: A dermatologist may use a dermatoscope to examine the skin and identify any skin abnormalities or changes that may be contributing to the acne.

In conclusion, the diagnosis and treatment of acne will depend on the severity and type of acne, and may require a combination of physical examination, laboratory tests, and topical or oral medications.


Tar acne treatment is a type of topical treatment that involves the use of coal tar to help clear up acne. It is typically used for those with moderate to severe acne and is often combined with other topical treatments such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or retinoids.

Tar acne treatment is available in various forms including creams, gels, and lotions. It works by slowing down the production of skin cells and reducing inflammation, which helps to prevent the clogging of pores and the formation of new pimples.

  1. Topical Retinoids: Retinoids are derived from vitamin A and are commonly used to unclog pores and reduce the appearance of acne. They come in the form of creams, gels, and lotions and are applied directly to the skin.
  2. Antibiotics: Antibiotics are prescribed to kill the bacteria that cause acne. They come in the form of topical creams, gels, or lotions, as well as oral pills. Antibiotics are typically prescribed for moderate to severe acne.
  3. Benzoyl Peroxide: Benzoyl peroxide is an over-the-counter acne treatment that works by killing the bacteria that cause acne. It is applied directly to the skin and is available in various forms including creams, gels, and lotions.
  4. Salicylic Acid: Salicylic acid is a type of beta-hydroxy acid that is commonly used to treat acne. It helps unclog pores and reduces the appearance of acne. It is available in various forms including creams, gels, and lotions.
  5. Chemical Peels: Chemical peels are a type of exfoliant that removes the top layer of dead skin cells to reveal smoother, clearer skin. Chemical peels can help reduce the appearance of acne by unclogging pores and improving skin texture.
  6. Light Therapy: Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, uses light to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation in the skin. Light therapy is commonly used to treat mild to moderate acne.
  7. Accutane: Accutane is a prescription medication that is used to treat severe, persistent acne. Accutane works by reducing the amount of oil produced by the skin and unclogging pores. It is a powerful medication that should only be taken under the supervision of a doctor.

When using tar acne treatment, it is important to follow the instructions provided by your doctor or dermatologist, as using too much of the product can lead to skin irritation and dryness. It is also important to be patient, as it may take several weeks or even months to see the full benefits of the treatment.

In addition to tar acne treatment, it is important to maintain a healthy skincare routine, including cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting your skin from the sun. If you experience any side effects or if your acne does not improve after using tar acne treatment, it is important to talk to your doctor for further evaluation and treatment.