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Editorial |

Balneophototherapy for Psoriasis Using Saltwater Baths and UV-B Irradiation, Revisited

Thilo Gambichler, MD
Arch Dermatol. 2007;143(5):647-649. doi:10.1001/archderm.143.5.647.
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It is well known that particular climatic conditions result in a clear improvement of skin disorders such as psoriasis vulgaris. In many medical centers, remarkable results have placed climatotherapy on the list of the most effective and safe treatment options for psoriasis. For example, over the past 30 years, tens of thousands of patients with psoriasis have successfully been treated at Israel's Dead Sea spas. Sunlight and salt water are the 2 main components of the therapy regimen at the Dead Sea. Other examples of unique and special places for climatotherapy and spa therapy are the Kangal hot spring in Turkey and the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, respectively.14 Because the aforementioned treatment modalities are tied to special geographic settings, balneophototherapy (BPT) was established in rehabilitation centers in Germany about 30 years ago. It represents an alternative phototherapeutic regimen that combines saltwater baths and artificial UV irradiation. This regimen has predominantly been used to treat patients with psoriasis in European countries such as Germany.5

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Examples of synchronous balneotherapy A, Synchronous balneophototherapy is performed in a special bathtub fitted with a recycling system and a moveable narrowband UV-B irradiation device (TOMESA Therapiesystem; Grünbeck Wasseraufbereitung Gmbh, Höchstädt ad Donau, Germany). B, Synchronous balneophototherapy is also performed in pools in some rehabilitation centers (eg, TOMESA Clinic, Bad Salzschlirf, Germany). The patients are instructed to rotate at defined intervals during the treatment to allow equal UV exposure of the entire body.

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