Chris Schach

Author Bio -

Key Points
* Excessive amounts of dry surface scales.
* Scaling is most prominent over the trunk, abdomen, buttocks, and legs.
* Caused by skin defect which causes it to lose moisture.

Icthyosis is a skin disorder characterized by scales on the skins’ surface that often resemble scales on a fish. There are multiple varieties of Icthyosis; some are genetic while others are acquired. The most common is Ichthyosis vulgaris (about 95 percent of all cases), which is passed on from a parent to about half their children. The condition usually begins in childhood is continues for the rest of one’s life. It’s caused by a gene abnormality that causes the body to create new skin faster than it can shed old skin. Ichthyosis vulgaris affects approximately one in 250 people. It is not life-threatening; however, it may lead to overheating, infections, and impaired eyesight or hearing, where skin builds up over eyes or ears.

Differential Diagnosis (Other conditions with similar appearance

Key Points
* Dry skin usually begins to develop around age five.
* Family history is instructive.
*Palms are excessively lined
* Can affect all parts of the body, although bends of arms and legs usually not affected

    Icthyosis can usually be diagnosed by looking at the skin. A skin biopsy and a family history will confirm the diagnosis.

    *There is no cure
    * Moisturize and exfoliate
    * Use a pumice stone
    * Sunlight may increase scaliness or decrease it, depending on the type

    Ichthyosis cannot be prevented, and there is no cure for it. However, it can be managed or controlled with constant moisturizing — using lanolin creams and emmolient oils — and exfoliation of the skin, which can lessen the symptoms. Hot baths and showers should be avoided, as they dry out the skin. After bathing, it is suggested that you blot the skin. Pumice stones on wet skin may also help. Warm climates are optimal. Moreover, a Alpha hydroxyacid lotion can also be recommended by a doctor or purchased over the counter to help dissolve the scales.

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