Ichthyosis

Overview

Type of disease: Rare conditions

Ichthyosis is an umbrella term used to describe the many forms of inherited skin disorders in which dead skin cells accumulate in thick, dry scales on your skin’s surface. Types of ichthyoses are classified by their appearance and their genetic cause. Ichthyosis vulgaris, accounts for 95% of all ichthyosis cases. Sometimes, mild cases of ichthyosis go undiagnosed because they’re mistaken for extremely dry skin. Also, sometimes, other skin diseases, such as the allergic skin condition eczema, are associated with ichthyosis. Exposure to sunlight may improve or worsen the condition. In some cases, excess dead skin sheds much better from wet tanned skin after bathing or a swim, although the dry skin might be preferable to the damaging effects of sun exposure.

There is no cure for ichthyosis. The main goal of treatment is to moisturize and exfoliate. This helps prevent dryness, scaling, cracking and build-up of skin.

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