Old fashioned sodium bicarbonate baths for the treatment of psoriasis in the era of futuristic biologics: an old ally to be rescued

J Dermatolog Treat. 2005 Feb;16(1):26-30. doi: 10.1080/09546630410024862.


Background: For centuries, medicated baths have been one of the first lines of treatment for psoriasis. Even today, with sophisticated immunosuppressive treatments available, Dead Sea salts and spa waters are recognized to be beneficial in the management of psoriatic patients.

Objective: To assess statistically the efficacy of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) baths in psoriasis patients.

Methods: Thirty-one patients with mild-moderate psoriasis were admitted to this study; Nineteen patients were treated with sodium bicarbonate baths and compared with twelve patients who were administered a placebo. Assessments were made on days 0 and 21.

Results: Almost all patients who used NaHCO3 reported a statistically valuable improvement. NaHCO3 baths reduced itchiness and irritation; in general, the patients themselves recognized a beneficial impact on their psoriasis, so much so that they have continued to bathe in NaHCO3 even after the end of the study.

Conclusion: We maintain that even with sophisticated immunosuppressive and highly specific anti-cytokine and anti-chemokines treatments available for the treatment of psoriasis, an older and often forgotten treatment can still play a role.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Baths*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psoriasis / therapy*
  • Sodium Bicarbonate / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Sodium Bicarbonate