Ichthyosis is a skin condition caused by scaling and flaking that can range from mild but annoying dryness to severe and disfiguring skin disease.
Ichthyosis is a severe condition of dry skin. Scale forms excessively on the skin as a result of ichthyosis. Scale appears as flaky, dry, rough patches of dead skin cells that have piled up.
Unlike xeroderma, which is simply dry skin, ichthyosis is dry skin caused by a hereditary condition (called inherited ichthyosis) or a variety of other conditions or medicines (called acquired ichthyosis).
Inherited ichthyoses (the most frequent types) are caused by genetic alterations that are normally handed down from one generation to the next but can also arise spontaneously. Ichthyoses are inherited and might be evident at birth or develop later in life. Inherited ichthyoses come in a wide variety of forms. Some solely affect the skin, whereas others are part of genetic illnesses that affect multiple organs.
The scale might be tiny or big, thick, and warty, depending on the form. The scale might develop on just the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, or it can cover the entire body. Blisters are caused by some types, which can lead to bacterial infections.
Internal illnesses such as an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), cancer, and AIDS can all produce acquired ichthyoses. Some medications can contribute to acquired ichthyosis such as nicotinic acid, triparanol, and butyrophenones. Adults are more likely to get acquired ichthyoses.
Characteristic scales are being developed.
Tests and consultation with a geneticist are required for inherited ichthyoses.
Skin biopsy is sometimes used to treat acquired ichthyoses.
When newborns or children develop the characteristic scales on their skin, inherited ichthyoses are detected. To discover the cause of inherited ichthyoses, doctors conduct tests and contact geneticists.
When persons get the characteristic scales after taking a medicine or suffering an internal illness, they are diagnosed with acquired ichthyoses. A skin biopsy may be performed by doctors, which can sometimes reveal an inside reason.
- Treatment of the cause of acquired ichthyoses.
- Vitamin A–related prescription medications for hereditary ichthyosis.
- Antibiotics are prescribed in case of infection.
The underlying condition is addressed or the substance that causes the ichthyosis is withdrawn in the case of acquired ichthyosis. Other treatments include using moisturizers to keep the skin moist and prevent having the skin dry up.
Moisturizers including petroleum jelly, mineral oil, salicylic or lactic acid, ammonium lactate, ceramides, or urea should be applied as soon as the skin is dry after bathing. Blotting excess moisturizer away with a cloth is a good way to get rid of it.
After showering, adults can apply a solution of propylene glycol in water to the afflicted regions to assist remove the scales. Overnight, the areas are covered with a thin plastic film or bag. The solution can be used on youngsters twice a day, but there is no need to use film.
Creams or pills containing vitamin A-related compounds, such as the retinoid tretinoin, oral isotretinoin, or oral acitretin, help the skin shed the excessive scales in hereditary ichthyosis.
Antibiotics may be given orally to people who are at risk of bacterial infection.