Besides these dermatological diseases there is an improvement of symptoms in all Rheumatic diseases, several chronic lung diseases, such as Asthma and Cystic Filrosis, Uveitis, Crohn`s disease and heart diseases.
Shemer Medical Center organizes a profound check up medical examination in our medical center in Haifa, including specific specialist consultations. According to the recommendations of the specialist, we organize the needed recommended treatments at the Dead Sea medical facility.
1. Skin diseases
The treatment is effective both in terms of disappearance of lesions and duration of remission.
The exposure of the patient to the sun in the Dead Sea area exposes him to a natural UV radiation, which is remarkably less then the usual amount of artificial UV radiation in a hospital or clinic.
Bathing in the Dead Sea several times a day, is recommended for psoriatic patients and leads to profound improvement.
Topical treatment such as oils and ointments, based on Dead Sea minerals and mud are integral part of the treatment of psoriatic patients.
This disease, more prevalent in children, often represents a challenge for physicians in moderate to severe cases.
The Dead Sea treatment program is individually tailored for these very sensitive individuals, with the duration of treatment lasting between four to six weeks.
The results of this treatment are very impressive, with 97% of dermatitis patients showing an improvement after Dead Sea therapy, and 70% of them showing a dramatic improvement.
The Dead Sea therapy is also effective in treating Vitiligo – a condition in which small or large areas of skin lose their natural pigment.
After the first four week course and sometimes even prior the end of treatment, white patches start to show new pigments, beginning the healing process that continues several weeks after the patient returns home.
In most cases Climatotherapy has to be repeated for several years until the condition is eliminated.
Occasionally, rapid and complete repigmentation can occur after a single visit at the Dead Sea.
Bathing in the Dead Sea water for 20 minutes twice a day prior to sun exposure is generally recommended.
2. Rheumatic Diseases
The Dead Sea contains a unique reservoir of salts that provides special potential for outdoor Balneotherapy. Patients suffering from any kind of arthritis undergo treatments including bathing in the Dead Sea and pools containing Dead Sea water or thermal sulfur spring water, self-application of black mud at the Seashore, envelopment of warm mud packs to the joints and medical massages.
In addition to these active therapies, the ambient environmental conditions, with uniformly warm temperatures and a low level of relative humidity, high barometric pressure, oxygen-rich air, bromide-rich atmosphere, and floating in the Dead Sea water, aid to the improvement and the well-being of the patients and their joints.
The physicians' experience combined with careful examination of the patient help enables them to decide the quantity and frequency that the abovementioned therapies and therapeutic skills need to be applied. Usually, Dead Sea baths and self mud applications are applied 2-4 times a day, while the other procedures are offered 2 or 3 times a week.
When an improvement of symptoms allows, medications like painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents can often be reduced, and sometimes even completely stopped. However, disease modifying drugs have to be continued (or may slowly be reduced), as the results rarely appear before the first two or three weeks of treatment.
Rheumatic diseases and conditions treated at the Dead Sea:
a. Inflammatory arthritides
1. Rheumatoid Arthritis
2. Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
3. Seronegative Spondylarthropathies : Bechterew disease (Ankylosing Spondylitis), Psoriatic Arthritis, Reactive Arthritis (e.g. Reiters syndrome)
b. Degenerative arthritides
2. Back and Neck Problems
3. Chronic or Acute Low Back pain and Cervical Syndrome
c. Other conditions
4. Recovery from different orthopedic surgeries
4. Chronic Pulmonary Disease:
b. Cystic Fibrosis
c. Chronic Obstructive Lung disease.
The outcome of the highest barometric pressure on earth (800 mm of Hg) is air the is rich in oxygen by as much as 3.3-4.8%. Along with unpolluted, allergen-free and dry air, comfortable temperatures and low rainfall, in many cases the Dead Sea area provides a simple way of improving the patient's symptoms, without dependence on artificial equipment.
The treatment process involves careful monitoring, intensive physiotherapy and rehabilitative treatment, including Dead Sea baths and sun exposure. However, patients suffering from lung disease do not undergo complex procedures but rather benefit from the Natural Health Spa atmosphere in day and night therapy. A recent study showed that this treatment significantly increases levels of arterial oxygenation (SaO2), sleep oximetry and improved exercise performance.
Additional treatment, if needed, includes Inhalation-therapy, which does not differ from the classical management of the disease, including patient education of which trigger factors to avoid, combined with the possibility to plan regular and rescue treatment.
This therapeutic modality offers patients undergoing chronic oxygen therapy and limited by dependence on an artificial oxygen source, the opportunity to improve their functional capacity, enhance their quality of life, and increase their independence and psychological well-being.
Experience with treating Cystic Fibrosis patients at the Dead Sea area began in 1994 after a pilot study concluded. The results were remarkable, a significant rise in oxygen saturation, improved lung function and subjective wellbeing was documented in 73 patients. Since then many European patients have spent 3 week sessions in a Winter Camp at the Dead Sea, and appreciate this treatment modality.
Quality of life, enjoyable surroundings, physical activities, physiotherapy and proper medical care in an oxygen-rich environment represents the major targets for the CF Clinic at the Dead Sea.
Patients are subject to medical supervision and guidance during their entire stay, in an atmosphere far removed from that of a hospital. The medical staff is readily available, and the presence of other patients suffering from the same disease helps facilitate social contacts. Psychological counseling, nutritionist, group therapy and complementary medical services are also available to contribute to the successful holistic management of the various disease entities treated at the Dead Sea.
This acute, chronic or chronic-recurring inflammatory disease involves the vascular membrane of the eye (uvea). The corresponding changes that may occur are iritis, cyclitis and choroiditis, but sometimes also combined irido-cyclitis or panuveitis, leading to adherence of the iris to the lens, immobility of the pupil, secondary glaucoma, damage of the retina and clouding of the lens.
The protocol is similar to that of skin diseases (without the local applications), with patients usually reaching more than 4 hours of daily sun exposure.
Subjective improvement in the patient's sight, durable positive and detectable effects after 6 months, and a significant drop in the incidence of inflammatory episodes in the year following the 3-week stay at the Dead Sea was reported in the principal publication on the Israel study in 1988. The authors related these favorable effects to the systemic immunosuppressive effect of the UVA on the Dead Sea shore, and recommend this physiological metHod Hamidbarof immunosuppression in the treatment of chronic uveitis.
5. Crohn's disease
The hyperbaric oxygen environment at the Dead Sea was used in the management of six patients with perianal Crohn's disease on the assumption that tissue oxygenation was impaired. After a 2-week stay including sun exposure, physical activity and immersion in the Sea, complete healing of the perianal fistulae occurred in one patient, and in all the others there was a striking improvement. Moreover, the disease activity index was uniformly reduced.
6. Heart disease and Hypertension / Ischaemic Heart Disease
Recent studies show that it is not only safe for patients with heart disease to spend time at the Dead Sea, but that their stay also improves their heart function. One study involving 12 patients who suffered from coronary artery disease - some of them after arterioplasty or bypass surgery, some with congestive heart failure and rhythm disturbances. The patients' blood pressure and pulse was monitored, and rest and exercise ECG and ecHodoppler tests were compared before and after exposure to the Dead Sea region, and at sea level. The study showed that all patients improved subjectively and objectively as measured by an exercise tolerance test, heart performance test, oxygen saturation in blood, etc. These results, as well as those from another study where patients in preparation to undergo coronary bypass surgery or postoperatively were exposed to the Dead Sea climate, had a better postoperative course than controls. This suggests that the time spent at the Dead Sea before or after surgical procedures may offer protection to the cardiac muscle, possibly as a consequence of high oxygen saturation and the anti-ischemic effect of heat acclimatization.
On the basis of several studies, where hypertensive patients were exposed to the Dead Sea climate, the conclusion was reached that (irrespective of age) high blood pressure does not represent a contraindication for treatment at the Dead Sea. Furthermore, it was found that patients who are being treated at home for mild hypertension can be freed of their medication while spending time at the Dead Sea.
7. Orthopedic Rehabilitation
For decades, the treatments and facilities present at the Dead Sea contributed to the area's reputation of being a natural resort center for physical rehabilitation, most suitable for patients after surgery, war injuries or road accidents. As a result, the various medical organizations in Israel sent such patients in large numbers for rehabilitation to the Dead Sea.
We recommend comprehensive medical rehabilitation program for individual therapy of the various pathologies.
A list of treatments and programs: