In a controlled prospective study we compared the efficacy of combined salt water bath and UVA/B phototherapy to a UVA/B mono-phototherapy in patients with subacute atopic dermatitis (AD). The patients in the balneophototherapy group (n=16) were treated with baths containing 3-5% of the synthetic salt Psori-sal(trade mark), followed immediately by UVA/B irradiation, while the other treatment arm (n=12) received UVA/B phototherapy alone. After 20 treatments the balneophototherapy group showed a statistically significant (p</=0.0015) reduction of the SCORAD score from 69.5 before to 36.8 after therapy. No statistically significant reduction in the SCORAD score could be observed in the UVA/B phototherapy group (50.6 before to 44.3 after therapy). The cumulative UVB dose was significantly lower in the balneophototherapy group (0.9 J/cm2) as compared to the UVA/B monotherapy group (2.0 J/cm2). Balneophototherapy was well tolerated by patients with atopic dermatitis and no side effects were observed. We conclude that balneophototherapy expands the therapeutic options for patients with subacute atopic dermatitis.