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December 1997

Skin Sensitivity to UV-B Radiation Is Differentially Increased by Exposure to Water and Different Salt Solutions

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology Haupstrasse 7 D-79104 Freiburg, Germany

Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(12):1610. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890480136030

The combination of seawater baths and solar radiation is known as an effective treatment for patients with psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Successful treatment has been reported from centers at the North Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Dead Sea.1 In recent years, the combination of brine baths and UV phototherapy using artificial light sources has been used increasingly as dermatologic inpatient and outpatient therapy. Several mechanisms have been implicated to contribute to the therapeutic efficacy of this combination treatment modality. First, higher concentrated salt solutions (15%-25%) have been shown to elute chemotactic and proinflammatory mediators from lesional skin.2 Second, immunomodulatory effects of single salt components on skin have been described.3 Other mechanisms, such as increased photosensitivity, may contribute to the efficacy of salt baths followed by UV irradiation.

Methods.  To determine the photosensitizing capacities of different salt solutions we investigated 10 volunteers, following informed consent and approval

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