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Balneophototherapy of psoriasis: highly concentrated salt water versus tap water – a randomized, one-blind, right/left comparative study

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Apart from climatotherapy and spa therapy, combined treatment with salt water baths and artificial UV radiation (balneophototherapy) has been advocated for the treatment of psoriasis. As there is a lack of controlled studies on balneophototherapy (BPT), we conducted a randomized, one-blind, right/left comparison with salt water versus tap water in order to investigate the significance of the salt concentration in the efficacy of BPT. Methods:

Ten psoriasis patients with chronic plaques on the elbows were included in the study. One elbow was soaked in 24% NaCl solution and the other in tap water. Subsequently, broadband UVB irradiation was administered. BPT was performed 4 times weekly with a total of 30 treatments. Results:

A highly significant (P<0.001) decrease of the clinical baseline score was observed after 30 treatments; however, there was no significant (P>0.5) difference in clearance of the psoriatic lesions between the sites soaked in salt water and tap water. Conclusion:

Our results suggest that any additional benefit of soaking in salt water and tap water in BPT are unlikely to be due to the salinity of the liquids.

Keywords: balneophototherapy; balneotherapy; phototherapy; psoriasis; salt water baths

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Dermatology, Ruhr-University Bochum, 2: Office of Dermatology, Dr. Erik Senger, Rödermark, Germany

Publication date: February 1, 2001


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