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עמוד בית
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March 2024
Marco Harari MD

Since 1980 dermatologists have been interested in the exceptional healing reported by patients who underwent treatments at the Dead Sea. Tens of thousands of patients have visited this area and more than 10,000 cases have been the subject of clinical and laboratory studies since this natural therapeutic option was discovered for psoriasis management. Through evaluation of the published articles on climatotherapy, we tried to reach a global assessment of the usefulness of this approach and to discover whether this treatment still can be recommended in the era of biologic treatments. I conducted a review of the available literature on clinical trials through PubMed, Medline, and Google Scholar using the terms psoriasis and Dead Sea. I found 26 studies published between 1982 and 2021. Assessment of patients showed major improvement through several selected parameters. Length of the stay and medical supervision positively influenced the major outcomes observed. Duration of improvement and possible long-term side effects of this natural treatment still need to be more precisely determined. Exposure to the unique climatic factors of the region, essentially the sun and the sea, induces fast and significant results with high clearance rates of psoriasis plaques. Dead Sea climatotherapy still has its place for the control of psoriasis symptoms.

February 2013
E. Kopel, A. Levi, M. Harari, T. Ruzicka and A. Ingber
 Background: It is well known that quality of life is an integral part in the outcome evaluation process of psoriasis treatment. Very few studies, however, examined the effect of climatotherapy at the Dead Sea on quality of life of such chronically ill patients.

Objectives: To determine the effect of the Dead Sea climatotherapy on the quality of life of patients with psoriasis vulgaris and psoriatic arthritis.

Methods: A total of 119 patients participated in an observational prospective study carried out at the Deutsches Medizinisches Zentrum clinic, a medical skin care center specializing in climatotherapy. The patients completed questionnaires (Skindex-29) to quantify their quality of life at different time points: the day of arrival, the day of departure, and 3 and 6 months after the end of treatment.

Results: Marked improvement in the quality of life scores was measured between the time of arrival to time of departure and to 3 months after the end of treatment.

Conclusions: Dead Sea climatotherapy has a significant positive influence on the quality of life of patients with psoriasis vulgaris and psoriatic arthritis.

April 2011
M. Harari, E. Dramsdahl, S. Shany, Y. Baumfeld, A. Ingber, V. Novack and S. Sukenik

Background: Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays are required by the skin for the production of vitamin D. The intensity of UVB at the Dead Sea area is the lowest in the world. Low vitamin D levels are often associated with musculoskeletal symptoms.

Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of climatotherapy at the Dead Sea on the production of vitamin D in Norwegian patients suffering from various rheumatic diseases and to investigate possible associations between increased vitamin D serum levels, musculoskeletal symptoms and disease severity.

Methods: Sixty Norwegian patients who came to the Dead Sea area for 21 days of medical rehabilitation were divided into three groups according to their diagnosis: chronic pain syndromes, i.e., low back pain or fibromyalgia (Group 1, n=33); rheumatoid arthritis (Group 2, n=16); and osteoarthritis (Group 3, n=11). Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH-D) levels were determined at arrival and prior to departure. The treatment protocol included daily sun exposure (climatotherapy), bathing in the Dead Sea and mineral spring water (balneotherapy), mud applications and fitness classes.

Results: 25-OH-D serum levels increased significantly from 71.3 ± 26.6 nM at arrival to 89.3 ± 23.2 nM prior to departure (P < 0.001). Adjusted for the initial levels of pain (assessed by a visual analog scale) and disease severity, a direct correlation was observed between increased 25-OH-D serum levels and pain reduction (P = 0.012) and reduction of disease severity (P = 0.02).

Conclusions: Climatotherapy at the Dead Sea induces significant changes in vitamin D. Increased 25-OH-D serum levels are associated with reduced musculoskeletal pain and disease severity.
 

February 2005
R. Yagev, E. Tsumi, J. Avigur, P. Polyakov, J. Levy and T. Lifshitz
 Background: Uveitis is an acute or chronic inflammatory process of the uvea caused by a number of etiologies. In many patients the etiology is unknown.

Objective: To investigate the effect of the Dead Sea environment (climatotherapy) on the signs, symptoms and clinical course of chronic uveitis.

Methods: Fifty-five patients with chronic uveitis were examined at the beginning and end of a 3–4 week stay at the Dead Sea region and on repeat visits to the region. Study data included demographic information, medical history, etiology, diagnosis, medication, and a complete ophthalmic examination.

Results: Statistically significant improvements were seen between the two examinations within each visit in four parameters (negative values indicate improvement): a) visual acuity for near and far: Jaeger (‑1.18 ± 0.28, P < 0.0001) and best corrected visual acuity (‑0.08 ± 0.02, P < 0.0001); b) anterior chamber flare (-0.18 ± 0.06, P < 0.01); c) anterior chamber cells (-0.16 ± 0.05), P < 0.001); and d) vitreous cells (-0.15 ± 0.09, P < 0.05). There was a significant mean improvement during visits to the Dead Sea area and a slight dissipation of the effect during the intervals between visits. Sixty-four percent of the patients reported that they required less medication and had fewer and milder attacks of uveitis following the visits.

Conclusions: The results of this study provide evidence of short- and possibly long-term improvement in the signs and symptoms of uveitis following exposure to the Dead Sea environment.

February 2003
March 2000
Michael David, MD, Dov Efron, PhD, Emmilia Hodak, MD and Zvi Even-Paz
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