Information about the infamous psoriasis product, Skin-Cap, and its manufacturer.

Grade F

Much has been written about Skin-Cap already. To summarize, Skin-Cap was sold from Spain as a psoriasis treatment containing zinc pyrithione (ZnP), but due to its quick effectiveness (ZnP isn’t known to be effective for psoriasis), and its side effect profile, some physicians suspected that it actually contained a potent steroid. When it was tested, by several independent labs, steroids were found. The manufacturer denied that the product contained steroids, and that denial (in light of the lab findings) is the basis of the FDA putting an import ban in place.

Canada gave the product a second chance, over two years after its initial ban, and ended up banning it a second time, due to the presence of another steroid in the product.

Several European countries also have bans of various sorts in place. Skin-Cap was actually banned first in Europe — Spain to be precise, and ironic in a way — years before it was banned by the FDA. At least four different steroids have been found in various versions of the product over the years. At first, Cheminova International (the manufacturer) simply denied the presence of steroids. After rumours started flying, they stopped responding to the question at all, even to people who had partnered with the company.

Obvious myths you might hear (or read) from promoters of Skin-Cap:

We sell the original formula.

Since so many different steroids have been detected over the years, how do they know?

It works because of the special zinc formula.

ZnP has never been shown to work any better than placebo for psoriasis, no matter how it was formulated. Some tests have shown a complete absence of ZnP in Skin-Cap. The claim is basically ad copy which is more than 5 years old.

There are no side effects.

Since they really don’t know what’s in Skin-Cap, how do they know?

There have never been any side effects reported.

This is absolute nonsense — see resources below.

There have never been any lawsuits.

Again, rubbish.

The testing was invalid.

A typical excuse, but it requires that all of the labs around the world which have tested the product be completely clueless about how to accurately test for the presence of a steroid.

A person should also be aware of what “Noble Formula” means. Noble Formula 1 (NF-1) is, basically, the closest guess as to what was in Skin-Cap, including the super-potent steroid. Some companies call this “Noble Formula Rx” to indicate its prescription-only status. NF-1, to be legally created, must be compounded by a pharmacy with a valid prescription and labeling instructions. Noble Formula 2 (NF-2) is the best guess as to what was in Skin-Cap except for the steroid. NF-2 products are available over-the-counter.
It should also be noted that the FDA has made it clear that no product which claims it contains ZnP as its only active ingredient can be sold as a treatment for psoriasis. There are also a number of “clones” out on the market with similar names and/or claims (such as Blue Cap, Zinc Cap, Skin-Zinc, etc.).

Please see Ed Anderson’s Skin-Cap FAQ for highly detailed information.


Food and Drug Administration:
Health Canada:
World Health Organization:
Dermatology Online Journal:
National Psoriasis Foundation: