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Ichthammol ointment, also called black ointment or black drawing salve, is a home remedy used for many skin disorders. Ichthammol ointment is made from sulfonated shale oil and combined with other ingredients, like lanolin or petroleum, to treat skin problems. It comes in different strength concentrations. Ichthammol ointment, well-known for its drawing effect, also has antibacterial, antimycotic and anti-inflammatory properties. Ichthammol ointment can be useful to treat different types of skin conditions in both humans and animals.

Buy ichthammol ointment from a pharmacy and keep it in your medicine cabinet for any emergencies involving the skin. You can also get it online (see Resources).

Use ichthammol ointment to draw out splinters (like wood or glass) from the skin. Cleanse the affected area and then put some of the black ointment on it. Cover it with a bandage and check after a day to see if the splinter is at the surface of the skin. Use tweezers to pull out the foreign object.

Treat boils, carbuncles or abscesses with an ointment containing 20 percent or more of ichthammol. A staphylococcus infection causes boils, which can swell and have pus. Draw the pus out by applying some salve ointment to the boil; let it form a head, lance it and then let the pus drain.

Relieve the discomfort of painful bites and stings with ichthammol ointment. For bites or stings from bees, wasp, spiders or other insects, apply some black ointment to the area. Be careful with insect bites, as some people can have an allergic reaction to these and may need medical attention.

Apply a 20-percent ichthammol ointment to animals (like horses) with wounds, dry hooves, inflammations or skin irritations. Use ichthammol ointment once or twice daily on the area.


Ichthammol ointment is also effective for treating dogs with skin ailments.


Use ichthammol ointment for external purposes only.