Category: Faq

Arthritis Questionnaire:

How does the climatic treatment at the Dead Sea work?

On one hand, it is a rehabilitative treatment with an effect on the joints towards improving mobility and activity, when this rehabilitative treatment is performed under climatic conditions that enable a beneficial effect on the disease itself. Permeation of salts and heating the joints by external factors (water, sulfur, mud), are the main mechanisms on which the treatment is based. In addition, exposure to the sun also causes a suppression of the immune system, which is sometimes altered by these diseases.

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What does the treatment include?

Bathing in the sea, applying mud on the joints, (moderate) exposure to the sun, immersion in sulfur spring baths, passive physical therapy done mainly by massaging, and active physical therapy done by exercising in the sea or in the pool of Dead Sea water, in coordination with an advising physical therapist.

 

Can the treatment or part of it be done away from the Dead Sea?

See the answer for skin diseases.

 

Will I receive a refund from my healthcare service?

See the answer for skin diseases.

 

Can it be combined with other treatments?

Usually yes. It is advisable to consult a physician.

 

Are there any populations for which treatment at the Dead Sea is not recommended?

Except for the conditions stated above in question 3, the rest are suitable for treatment.

 

Counter-indications – if any?

The same counter-indications as for skin diseases (diseases that are accompanied by light-sensitive conditions, skin cancer, renal failure, or any other severe or unstable disease).

 

What is the recommended period for treatment?

All year round.

 

What kind of diseases can be successfully treated at the Dead Sea?

All the inflammatory arthritic diseases (including psoriasis-related arthritis), and the non-inflammatory arthritic diseases, such as osteoarthritis. Fibromyalgia as well.

 

FA Questions on Dead Sea Climatotherapy for Skin and Joint Ailments:

I have fibromyalgia. Does Dead Sea climatotherapy help for this too?

Yes, apart from exposure to the sun and bathing in the sea, which help, the Dead Sea shore has sulfur-rich thermomineral springs that help relieve this condition.
In addition, it is recommended to supplement these treatments with physiotherapy, supervised by clinics in the region.
The special climatic conditions in the region – dry air, high, constant barometric pressure, constant, comfortable warm temperatures, also help in the management of these conditions.
In any case, one should consult a physician before treatment.

 

I have rheumatoid osteoarthritis. Does Dead Sea climatotherapy help for this too?

Yes, apart from exposure to the sun and bathing in the sea, which help, the Dead Sea shore has sulfur-rich thermomineral springs that help relieve arthritis. In addition, the area has black sludge (mud) that has proven beneficial properties for treating arthritis.
In addition, it is recommended to supplement these treatments with physiotherapy, supervised by clinics in the region.
The special climatic conditions in the region – warm, dry air, high, constant barometric pressure, constant, warm comfortable temperatures, also help in the management of these conditions.
In any case, one should consult a physician before treatment.

 

I have ordinary osteoarthritis. Does Dead Sea climatotherapy help for this too?

Yes, apart from exposure to the sun and bathing in the sea, which help, the Dead Sea shore has sulfur-rich thermomineral springs that help relieve arthritis. In addition, the area has black sludge (mud) that has proven beneficial properties for treating arthritis.
In addition, it is recommended to supplement these treatments with physiotherapy, supervised by clinics in the region.
The special climatic conditions in the region – warm, dry air, high, constant barometric pressure, constant, warm comfortable temperatures, also help in the management of these conditions.
In any case, one should consult a physician before treatment.

 

I have arthritis secondary to psoriasis. Will a stay at the Dead Sea be good for this condition?

Yes, apart from exposure to the sun and bathing in the sea, which help, the Dead Sea shore has sulfur-rich thermomineral springs that help relieve arthritis. In addition, the area has black sludge (mud) that has proven beneficial properties for treating arthritis.
In addition, it is recommended to supplement these treatments with physiotherapy, supervised by clinics in the region.
The special climatic conditions in the region – dry air, high, constant barometric pressure, constant, comfortable temperatures, also help in the management of these conditions.
Bathing in the sea and having warm sulfur baths and and sludge (mud) therapy are dependent on the condition of the skin. In any case of open skin lesions one should consult a physician before treatment.

 

Can I get further information on Dead Sea climatotherapy?

Go to www.deadsea-health.org

Who can give me instructions on Dead Sea climatotherapy and who will supervise me?

Before and during Dead Sea climatotherapy, one should consult a specialist who work in the clinics in the region for treatment instructions and follow them up during the course of therapy.
While at home (in one’s country of origin), one should consult and be supervised by a family physician (attending physician).

 

What conditions other than skin disorders respond to Dead Sea climatotherapy?

Joint disorders see separate chapter.
It has recently been shown that certain chronic muscular diseases benefit from Dead Sea Climatotherapy if combined with appropriate physiotherapy.
Lung disorders like sever asthma in which tissue oxygenation is impaired.
Heart diseases associated with oxygen deficiency in body tissues. Patients with the a/n diseases benefit from the high partial oxygen pressure which is due to the high atmospheric pressure being present at this lowest altitude in the world.
An eye disease called Uveitis (a chronic inflammation of the inside of the eye) benefits from the solar effect on the disturbed immune system in this disease.

 

Is it possible to obtain similar results while undergoing part of the Dead Sea delivered away from the Dead Sea?

No. Artificial radiation therapy administered for skin disorders such as psoriasis is an accepted and effective practice, however it requires three times the amount of radiation energy as compared to the exposure to the sun at the Dead Sea, and as a result is associated with more side effects. It has been proved that the power of the damaging ultraviolet solar radiation is reduced at the Dead Sea (because of the low altitude of the place [-417 meter] and certain sun rays being deflected due to a continuous cloud overhanging the Dead Sea) compared to other Sun exposure sites in the world. There is also a method of using Dead Sea salts dissolved in tap water, which also do have a beneficial effect, however all these methods do not match the clinical results and efficacy achieved by Dead Sea climatotherapy.

 

How does climatotherapy work?

Climatotherapy mainly affects the immune mechanism, which is dysfunctional in psoriasis. It has been experimentally proven that the treatment normalizes this abnormal immune mechanism.

 

Will I receive a refund?

Refunds for climatotherapy are included in the health basket of some countries in Europe (Germany, Austria). For full details and the extent of the refund, please consult the insurance company and/or health maintenance service you are insured by.

 

What is the optimum duration for Dead Sea climatotherapy? And what is the recommended daily sun exposure time?

In Psoriasis, the exposure and treatment time depend on the severity of the disease and one’s skin type. It has been demonstrated that a three to five hours’ exposure a day – one and a half to two hours and a half in the morning and the same schedule in the afternoon – are sufficient for managing psoriasis in most cases (also depending on the time of year).
For maximum results, this ideal exposure should be continued for full 28 days, which for various reasons is not always kept.
In any case, one should consult a climatotherapy specialist for recommendations on the mode and duration of treatment. Professional medical services may be received in one of the clinics in the region recognized as specializing in climatotherapy.

 

Is climatotherapy defined as an alternative therapy?

Dead Sea climatotherapy belongs to conventional medicine and is recognized as such and a medical treatment protocol has been issued by the Israeli Association for Dermatology – the treatment is based on and uses natural resources existing in the region for therapeutic purposes without any need to administer systemic drugs that are usually used for managing these disorders and that have potential side effects.
As is known, the skin and joint diseases treated at the Dead Sea are chronic conditions the treatment of which usually involves consuming chemotherapeutic drugs and pain relievers on a regular basis. It has been shown that the long-term, consumption of certain drugs may cause cumulative damage.
Dead Sea climatotherapy offers a treatment schedule without the use of such drugs or with the possibility to taper their dosage.
Yet the clinical results achieved by Dead Sea Climatothyerapy are identical to those achieved in standard radiation or chemical treatments, however without causing side effects.

 

Is it possible to combine other treatments with Dead Sea climatotherapy when treating skin disorders?

Yes. Most treatments (non topical) can be used simultaneously with Dead Sea climatotherapy under supervision of the doctor. In case of Psoriasis topical treatment including Calcipotriol (Daivonex) a Vitamin D derivative, which has been shown to shorten the required length of sun exposure, can be used. In questions of combination therapies, consult your Physician.

 

Are there any side effects known to be related to Dead Sea climatotherapy?

It has been proven in studies that recurrent exposure to Dead Sea climatotherapy has had no effect on the appearance or proliferation of any skin cancer type.
Yet solar damage manifesting in skin aging has been observed.
On the other hand it has recently been experimentally proven that Dead Sea salts have an anti-aging effect on the skin.

 

What are the contraindications to Dead Sea climatotherapy?

Any Systemic or Dermatological Disease aggravated by sun.
Skin Cancer, except Mycosis Fungoides in its early stages.
Renal Insufficiency.
Acute Infectious Disease.
Severe Disability.
Special precautions have to be taken in cases of drug phototoxicity.

 

What does Dead Sea climatotherapy for skin disorders include?

For Psoriasis: A gradual exposure of the affected skin lesions to the sun, twice a day morning and afternoon, Bathing in the Dead Sea, twice a day, up to 20 minutes each session. The use of lubricating ointments as needed.

For detailed treatment instructions, recommended exposure times to sun and water and the use of other ointments it is recommended to consult a qualified physician who specializes in climatotherapy in one of the clinics in the region.

 

What disorders may be successfully treated at the Dead Sea?

  1. Most forms of psoriasis (including psoriatic arthritis).
  2. Atopic dermatitis.
  3. Vitiligo.
  4. A special type of skin cancer called Mycosis Fungoides, in its early stages.
  5. Additional Skin diseases as recommended by the Dermatologist.

What is the recommended season for Dead Sea climatotherapy for skin disorders?

Dead Sea climatotherapy for skin disorders is more effective in the extended spring (March, April, May) and autumn (September, October, November) months.
Therapy in the winter month (December, January, February) is less effective therefore it is not recommended.