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GAZZETTA MEDICA ITALIANA ARCHIVIO PER LE SCIENZE MEDICHE
A Journal on Internal Medicine and Pharmacology
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2012 December;171(6):739-48
Balneotherapy and narrow-band phototherapy in the treatment of psoriasis: a comparative study
Morri M. 1, Norat M. 2, Canzi P. 3, Viti S. 4, Mascherpa M. A. 4, Angeli P. 4, Angeli F. 4, Romani G. 4
1 Unità di Dermatologia, Ospedale degli Infermi, Rimini, Italy;
2 Struttura Complessa di Dermatologia, Ospedale U. Parini, Aosta, Italy;
3 Struttura Complessa di Otorinolaringoiatria, Chirurgia Maxillo Facciale, Odontostomatologia, Ospedale U. Parini, Aosta, Italy;
4 Riccione Terme S.p.A., Riccione, Italy
AIM: The aim of our study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a combined therapeutic method (thermal baths with sulphurous water associated with narrowband UVB phototherapy (nb-UVB) compared to nb-UVB phototherapy or balneotherapy as single treatments for psoriasis.
METHODS: Enrolment of 60 patients between 18 and 65 years of age, affected by cutaneous psoriasis with a PASI (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index) index >7 (moderate and severe psoriasis), randomised into 3 groups of 20 patients each and subjected to balneotherapy with sulphurous water (group A), conventional nb-UVB phototherapy (group B) or combined treatment with both methods (group C).
RESULTS: Evaluation of treatment efficacy by comparing, at the beginning and at the end of the trial, a clinical index (PASI) and an index of quality of life (VAS: visual analogue scale).
CONCLUSION: Regardless of which treatment was used, all patients showed a marked improvement PASI and VAS parameters at the end of the treatment. Only the Pasi improves differently with the various treatments, while the difference of improvement was not statistically significant for VAS. As this is a subjective index of quality of life, it is probably modified according to behavioural characteristics of the various patients. Thermal balneotherapy contributes significantly to the effectiveness of phototherapy in the treatment of psoriasis; in our opinion this is due to the pickling effect that was consistently observed in the course of this study. Even as monotherapy, thermal baths in sulphurous water could reasonably become a therapeutic option for mild to moderate forms of psoriasis.