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Topical Ozone Therapy: A Potential Option for AD?

Findings from a small study conducted in China showed beneficial effects of topical ozone therapy on the microbiological diversity of the skin—specifically, decreases in Staphylococcus aureus (S aureus) and increases in Acinetobacter—among patients with atopic dermatitis (AD).

S aureus accounts for 90% of the microbiome in AD lesions and plays a role in disease flare-ups and worsen disease outcomes,” the researchers said. “Ozone treatment can improve AD conditions by its bactericidal effect on S aureus.”

In the study, they investigated the effects of topical ozone therapy on the microbiome diversity in AD lesions of 12 Chinese participants with moderate to severe disease. Participants were randomly assigned to either the treatment group or control group. For 3 days, participants in the treatment group were treated with ozonated water shower for 15 minutes once per day followed by topical ozonated camellia oil, and those in the control group were treated with tap water shower and basal oil.
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The researchers used Scoring Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) scores and modified Eczema Area Severity Index scores to assess the efficacy of ozone therapy, and skin samples were collected to assess microbiological composition of the targeted sites using 16S rDNA sequencing.

After 3 days of treatment, participants in the ozone treatment group experienced significant decreases in SCORAD scores and inflammatory cell infiltration in AD lesions. In addition, the researchers observed higher micro-ecological diversity in non-lesional AD skin compared with lesional AD skin, which was negatively correlated with AD severity.

“The proportion of S aureus in AD lesions was positively correlated with the severity of AD, which was decreased after ozone treatment,” the researchers said. Ozone therapy was associated with increased microbiological diversity as well, they added, with significant increases in the proportion of Acinetobacter.

“Topical ozone therapy is highly effective for treatment for AD. It can change the proportional ratio of Staphylococcus and Acinetobacter, thereby restoring the microbiological diversity in AD lesions,” the researchers concluded.


Zeng J, Dou J, Gao L, et al. Topical ozone therapy restores microbiome diversity in atopic dermatitis [published online January 24, 2020]. Int Immunopharmacol. 2020;80:106191. doi:10.1016/j.intimp.2020.106191

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