Ozone in dermatology: myth or reality
|Nizhny Novgorod, Russia|
|The use of medical ozone in the treatment of human diseases has more than 80 year history. Ozonetherapy is actively used in Europe (Austria, Germany, Italy, Russia, France, Switzerland etc) as well as in Latin America (on Cuba and in Brazil), great interest to this method is shown in USA. The spectrum of ozone applications in the medicine is so wide, that with some skepticism it is considered a panacea for all diseases. The вЂњuniversalityвЂќ of ozonetherapy can be explained by scientifically verified breadth of biological action of ozone related to its physical-chemical properties which are responsible for its bactericidal, virucidal, fungicidal, anti-inflammatory, microcirculation stimulating, immunomodulating and other therapeutical effects. The use of ozone in dermatology, in the field of medicine including more than 2000 nosological units has its own features. Our 8 year experience of ozonetherapy in dermatosis confirms the existence of high-effective alternative therapeutic method in dermatological practice.
We observed a group of ambulant patients (n = 495) with herpes (99), acne (75), eczema (64), pyoderma (61), alopecia (42) as well as shank venous ulcer, lichen planus, neurodermitis, localized scleroderma, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and other, less frequent dermatosis. The following traditional methods of ozonetherapy were used: minor ozonated autohemotherapy, rectal ozone insufflations, intramuscular ozone injections, external applications of ozonized olive oil and ozone-oxygen mixture by means of plastic bags. The most used method is minor autohemotherapy owing to the beneficial relationship between the efficiency and simplicity/convenience of application. The treatment should be peformed daily or 2-3 times a week in a cycle of 3-4 to 15-20 procedures. Ozonetherapy is usually used as a monotherapy, rarely in combination with traditionally used external medicines.
The therapy used showed the following results: disappearance of clinical picture of dermatosis or significant improvement was observed in all the patients with herpes, 95% – with pyoderma, 75% – with eczema, 2/3 вЂ“ with alopecia, lichen planus and neurodermitis, 3/5 вЂ“ with psoriasis, 2/5 вЂ“ with acne, localized scleroderma and shank venous ulcer. The best therapeutical results were received when ozonetherapy was started at the beginning of disease or in acute phase. So, ozonetherapy proved to be particularly effective in the patients with localized scleroderma at first appearance of disease or its aggravation (clinical picture of purple ring and erythema in focuses) and with disease duration less than 3 years. The same is about the treatment of lichen planus (the absolutely best results in acute forms). The appearance of clear inflammatory symptoms in the focuses before the treatment means, as a rule, the efficiency of ozonetherapy. For example, the acute inflammatory forms of acne appear to be the most favourable indication for ozonetherapy.
However, ozonetherapy was not enough effective in lightly inflammatory forms of acne, severe forms of neurodermitis, verrucous forms of lichen planus. In some dermatosis a repeated course of ozonetherapy was required (alopecia, neurodermitis, localized scleroderma etc). In cases when ozonetherapy failed the patients had severe associated pathologies. So, ozonetherapy did not show positive results by treating the woman, 65 years old, suffering from bullous forms of localized scleroderma at presence of associated urolithiasis, ischemic heart disease and gastroduodenitis. Ozonetherapy failed in the patients with alopecia areata after or at presence of severe associated diseases (two patients with craniocerebral injury trauma, other two patients with pneumonia and BesedowвЂ™s disease). Ozonetherapy provided enough stable remote results: in absolute majority the patients showed longer lasting remission time after ozonetherapy than after traditionally used methods of treatment.
Ozonetherapy is good tolerated by patients: the frequency of side effects is less than 1% (allergic dermatitis). After all, ozonetherapy is a kind of soft therapy with its advantages and disadvantages: it is not so effective as cytostatics or corticosteroids, but does not cause possible fatal side-effects of the last medicines.
So, having taken into account sufficient efficiency of ozonetherapy in some dermatosis, simple performance in ambulant practice and safety, cheapness of raw materials (oxygen), we are sure that in the near future ozonetherapy will be a very popular alternative method of treatment of skin diseases. Owing to the known mechanisms of action of ozone, ozonetherapy will prove to be effective in other dermatosis caused by virusal, bacterial or fungal agents as well as at predominance of inflammatory elements, microcirculatory disturbances and immunity disorders in the pathogenesis of disease.