Ichthammol for Wound and Skin Care

Ichthammol, a multi-component molecular mixture which is derived from sulfonated shale oil (SSO) has been frequently used in dermatology departments since the 19th century, often being employed as a drawing salve to help hasten the ‘pointing’ of boils and abscesses, leading to reports that Ichthammol improves blood flow. With a full history dating back to the early 1300’s when the first recorded use of shale oil in medicine was recorded, Ichthammol is now mined from bituminous schists in the French Jura, originating from ancient marine material.  For decades, Ichthammol, has been employed in healthcare for the treatment of eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, leg ulcers and furuncles and today it remains an important medicament in the armoury of the dermatologist. Ichthammol, has been reported to have ‘manifold pharmacological actions’.  Its application for the treatment of inflammatory skin conditions has been well established all over the world since the work carried out by Paul Unna (1882). Besides its ability to treat inflammatory skin disorders, Ichthammol possesses anti-bacterial, anti-mycotic, and anti-pruriginous actions and is therefore useful in treating wet, itchy eczema and other skin conditions such as dermatitis and psoriasis, helping to break the itch-scratch cycle.

Containing fat, Ichthammol provides a layer of oil on the skin surface, which helps to prevent moisture from evaporating, keeping the skin hydrated. For patients with chronic lichenified skin conditions such as eczema or hyperkeratosis, when combined with the properties of Zinc Oxide, Ichthammol in Ichthopaste Bandage is a suitable therapeutic product for symptom relief and maintenance of the skin’s integrity.