Research Themes Inflammatory diseases Old medicine in a new guise
The work on the mechanism of action of coal tar by Schalkwijk en van den Bogaard (see list of publications), which received substantial international media attention, has contributed to the evaluation of this therapeutic in the national guidelines for atopic dermatitis. Despite the efficacy and safety of coal tar, this therapy was close to being abandoned by dermatology guidelines due to lack of a solid scientific basis. Our contact with the Dutch society of dermatology and venereology (NVDV) on the national guidelines resulted in acknowledgment of this work and alteration of the guidelines. Therefore, coal tar is still maintained as an atopic dermatitis therapy. In the meantime, the US NIH has seen fit to award van den Bogaard a prestigious grant to further dissect the active components of coal tar with the ultimate aim to find a new therapeutic.