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29-11-2011 | Immunology | Article

Dead Sea baths effective treatment for severe atopic dermatitis


Free abstract

MedWire News: Dead Sea climatotherapy (DSC) is an effective treatment option for individuals with atopic dermatitis (AD), research shows.

Using a severity scoring scale, known as the SCORing Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) index, to measure AD, the researchers found that two out of three patients achieved a 75% improvement in AD symptoms following treatment with DSC.

Patients with severe AD tended to do even better, according to the researchers.

"Our current data, together with previous reports, strongly support the usefulness of DSC for patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis," report Marco Harari (Hadassah University, Jerusalem, Israel) and colleagues.

Publishing their findings in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, the group evaluated the impact of DSC on AD using a new version of the SCORAD index, known as the SCORAD 75.

With SCORAD 75, a meaningful therapeutic response to treatment is defined as the number of patients treated who achieve a 75% improvement in their scores.

Included in the analysis were 78 European patients with AD undergoing treatment with DSC. Patients were classified as having mild, moderate, and severe AD and each underwent a tailored schedule of Dead Sea baths and sun exposure.

After 30 days, the mean SCORAD values decreased from 50.5 to 11.0, a significant 76.7% reduction in disease severity.

Using the SCORAD 75, the researchers report that 64.1% of all patients achieved a 75% improvement in their scores.

Of those patients with severe AD, 78.9% had a 75% improvement in the SCORAD index, whereas just 54.5% of patients with mild AD showed equivalent improvements in AD.

"As hypothesized, SCORAD 75 evaluation… allowed for more precise differentiation between subgroups," write Harari and colleagues.

Almost every patient treated had a 60% improvement in AD symptoms.

By MedWire Reporters

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