When should you use medicated soap?

What is medicated soap?

There is one job for a regular toilet soap, that is to clean the skin well. Medicated soap has a more complicated responsibility. In addition to its cleansing duties, it is supposed to contribute to the treatment of various skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, fungal and parasitic infections.

Soap containing special antiseptic or similar ingredients and conforming to the standard of quality prescribed by the regulations are medicated soaps.

Properties of a medicated soap

medicated soap

  • Anti-bacterial- agents used to disinfect surfaces and eliminate potentially harmful bacteria.
  • Ant-fungal- agents used to kill fungal cells or stopping them from growing and multiplying
  • Anti-inflammatory- an agent or substance that reduces inflammation (redness, swelling, and pain) in the body.
  • Insecticidal-agent that disrupt the cell membranes, when the insect is penetrated with fatty acids, the insect’s cells leak their contents causing the insect to dehydrate and die.
  • Anti-parasitic- agents that effectively treats and relieves skin scaling caused by seborrhea and helps to relieve mange & other parasitic infections.

These properties help to relieve red and irritated skin, eliminate rashes, itching and flaking. For this purpose, medicated soaps are formulated with special medicinal ingredients, such as precipitated Sulphur, birch tar, bamboo charcoal, different types of clay, therapeutic mud, medicinal herbs, and essential oils.

These medicinal ingredients are added to the soap depending on the skin condition or conditions it is supposed to treat.

The popular types of medicated soap and their health benefits.

types of medicated soap

Tar Soap

Tar soap is arguably one of the most popular kinds of medicated soap. It is formulated with birch tar, which is famous for its powerful antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. In some regions, birch tar has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Tar soap can be used to relieve the symptoms of acne, psoriasis, eczema, seborrhoeic dermatitis, and fungal skin infections.

In addition, tar soap speeds up the healing of minor skin injures and helps to balance oily skin. However, it tends to strip the skin of moisture and might make it feel dry and tight. That is why it is important to use tar soap infused with natural carrier oils, which have a nourishing, moisturizing, and softening effect on the skin.

Sulphur Soap

Soap with precipitated sulfur is another popular type of medicated soap. Just like tar soap, it has powerful antiseptic, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it an effective treatment for a number of skin conditions. Sulfur soap is used to treat irritated and itchy skin, psoriasis, acne, scabies, eczema, and various skin infections.

However, it is important to understand that sulfur soap is just an auxiliary treatment that can’t cure the above-listed skin conditions on its own. You can use it to relieve symptoms, but a dermatologist will probably prescribe you other treatments to treat the underlying cause.

Salicylic Soap

This type of medicated soap is formulated with salicylic acid, which is widely used to treat acne, comedones, and increased sebum secretion. Thanks to this ingredient, salicylic soap is great for taking care of oily, combination, and problem skin. It deeply cleanses pores, exfoliates dead skin cells, normalizes the production of sebum, and inhibits the growth of the pathogenic microbes that cause skin inflammation.

In addition, salicylic soap evens out skin tone and helps to restore a healthy and glowing complexion, produces a rejuvenating effect, and keeps the skin feeling fresh for hours.

Mineral Mud Soap

Therapeutic mud is soil, silt or clay mixed with water, which usually forms near hot springs or seas. Due to their high mineral content, various kinds of mud have been used in balneotherapy for centuries. Their medicinal properties depend on the mineral composition, which, in turn, depends on the place of origin. For example, Dead Sea mud has anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties. It helps to get rid of toxins and makes the skin firmer.

Popular types of mineral mud that can be found in medicated soaps include the aforementioned Dead Sea mud, different peat muds, Sakhalin and Kamchatka hydrothermal muds, Saki lake mud from Crimea, etc. They are often combined with mineral or thermal water to enhance their positive effects.

Soap with Medicinal Herbs and Essential Oils

Herbal extracts and essential oils often have a pronounced therapeutic effect on the skin, which makes them excellent medicated soap ingredients. Popular extracts and essential oils used in medicated soaps include chamomile extract, calendula extract, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, juniper oil, and more.

As a rule, medicated soap infused with essential oils and herbal extracts is used to treat acne, skin inflammations, furuncles (boils), atopic dermatitis, allergic reactions, and some other skin conditions. Thanks to its therapeutic properties, such soap speeds up skin regeneration and renewal, as well as inhibits the growth of the pathogenic microbes responsible for some skin conditions.

When should you use medicated soap?


  • Medicated soap is used when advised by a doctor, it is always advised to consult a doctor for any skin problem.
  • Medicated soap is used when experiencing skin problems, and since they are quite common, most of them are easily treatable with oral as well as topical medications.
  • People use medicated soap for dry skin, acne, eczema, contact dermatitis, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, sun Burns, dandruff, and, seborrheic dermatitis, considered as common skin problems.
  • Medicated soap targeted for specific skin concerns when used can speed up the healing process and also prevent aggravating it.

Future of Medicated Soap

Sales of medicated soaps are projected to rise due to growing consumer awareness to prevent various skin diseases. Increasing recommendations by dermatologists and physicians to use antiseptic soaps are driving the demand for medicated soaps in the market. Additionally, major players are selling soaps enriched with herbal and other natural elements, which is expected to attract more customers, thereby increasing the sales of the product.

Over the coming years, the demand for medicated soaps is expected to increase due to the growing focus on skin care across the world.

Regular usage of medicated soaps can also reduce bacterial spread. Other skin case issues caused due to bacterial presence on the skin can be cured by using medical soaps.

Increasing number of skin problems and other skin diseases are propelling the demand for medicated soaps in the market.

The dis-advantages of medicated soap

  • The availability of alternative to medicated soaps and higher prices of medicated soaps compared to normal soaps.
  • Since medicated soaps are made up of chemicals that have antiseptic properties, these chemicals can cause allergic reactions.
  • The excessive use of anti-septic soaps and hand washes can result in developing resistance to microorganisms.
  • Some medicated soaps that are available over the counter are proven to be less effective than medicated soaps that are prescribed by medical practitioners.
  • Chemicals used in manufacturing medicated soaps can remove the natural oil from the skin.