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Climatotherapy at the Dead Sea: An Effective Treatment Modality for Atopic Dermatitis With Significant Positive Impact on Quality of Life

Adler-Cohen, Chagit BMS*; Czarnowicki, Tali MD*; Dreiher, Jacob MD, MPH; Ruzicka, Thomas MD*; Ingber, Arieh MD*; Harari, Marco MD*

doi: 10.1097/DER.0b013e31824a6141

Background Atopic dermatitis (AD) has an appreciable effect on quality of life. Improving the quality of life of AD patients is a priority.

Objective This study aimed to evaluate the impact of Dead Sea climatotherapy (DSC) as a treatment of AD and its influence on the quality of life of these patients.

Methods Forty-nine adult patients with AD treated during the years 2009–2010 at the Deutsches Medizinisches Zentrum Medical Center participated in this prospective study. Climatotherapy was administered in accordance with a computer-designed protocol and included gradually increased sun exposure after a sea bath. Severity of AD was evaluated using the Scoring Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) index. Patient quality of life was evaluated using Skindex-29. Statistical analysis was performed using a paired t test and Wilcoxon and Mann-Whitney U tests.

Results After treatment, the mean SCORAD value improved by 39 points (P < 0.001). The overall Skindex-29 score improved by a mean value of 33 points (P < 0.001). The pretreatment SCORAD, duration of AD, and maximal daily sun exposure predicted the posttreatment SCORAD values. Pretreatment Skindex-29 and patient age predicted the posttreatment Skindex-29 in a multiple linear regression model.

Conclusions Dead Sea climatotherapy provides an effective treatment modality for AD by improving the patient’s skin condition and quality of life.

From the *RIDS: The Joint Research Institute on Climatotherapy for Skin Diseases at the Dead Sea, The Deutsches Medizinisches Zentrum Medical Center and the Department of Dermatology, Hadassah University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel, in cooperation with The Department of Dermatology, Ludwig Maximilian University Hospital, Munich, Germany; and †Siaal Research Center, Division of Health in the Community, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel.

Address reprint requests to Chagit Adler-Cohen, 1 HaYasmin St, Kochav Yair 44864, Israel. E-mail:

Chagit Adler-Cohen and Tali Czarnowicki equally contributed to this study.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to declare.

©2012American Contact Dermatitis Society, All Right Reserved
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