Background. A controlled, double-blind clinical trial on 50 patients suffering from eczematous dermatitis (atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis) was performed in Comano Thermal Baths (Trento, Italy) from April to October 1998, according to the National Health Government request (art. 2 D.M. 15.12.1994).
Methods. Treatment consisted of 12 Comano-water thermal baths vs tap water baths, with standard conditions of temperature and execution. Recruiting of patients was performed in Comano thermal baths according to the inclusion criteria, with written informed consent. Clinical effectiveness was evaluated through a numerical system determining the clinical condition in predetermined stages, respectively for acute-phase (vesicular and exudative), intermediate (erythematous and crusty) and chronic lesions (scaling and infiltration).
Results. The average clinical evaluation index positive percentage variation was 29.7% in tap water treated patients and 69.1% in thermal-water treated patients. In the thermal bath treated group, very good results were obtained in 52% of patients and good results in 36% of patients. Only 12% of patients had no clinical benefit. Cutaneous hydration had quick improvement during thermal bath therapy; sebum measurement showed no differences. The percentage of subjects with itch improvement was numerically higher among those thermally treated. No undesired side effects were described.
Conclusions. These results show the effectiveness of Comano thermal water therapy in the treatment of eczematous dermatoses.