September 10, 2009

Symptoms & Treatment for Ichthyosis Vulgaris

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Ichthyosis vulgaris is a skin disorder which is also often commonly called fish scale disease. This skin disorder causes dry, scaly skin. The disease has a substantial incidence, affecting one person out of every two hundred and fifty people. It is therefore also known as common ichthyosis.

Ichthyosis causes are usually hereditary in nature; however, there is also a rarer version of this disease that is commonly known as acquired ichthyosis.

Ichthyosis Symptoms

It is unusual for the symptoms of the inherited form of the disease to be present at the time of birth. Though a new born baby appears to be normal, with normal soft skin, as the child grows, the scales begin to develop. The symptoms first begin to appear when the child is about three months old and keep intensifying till the child has attained the age of five. At this age, the child begins to show all the symptoms of this disease. In some cases, these symptoms start to reduce as the person ages but then become severe again in the older years.

  • Extremely rough and dry skin
  • Highly irritable skin
  • Occasional appearance of rashes
  • Severe itching all over the skin
  • Formation of lesions on the skin
  • Scaly skin that appears to be fish-like
  • Skin blanching at several various parts of the body.

Though this condition has no apparent threat to the health and the life of the affected person, the skin can have a very unusual appearance and therefore it can affect one’s social life. If the scaly patches are localized to certain areas of the body, the appearance is not as marred. However, a larger surface area of the skin, when affected has an extremely adverse effect on the appearance of the person.

The disease often appears as fine white scales on the body – usually on the arms and the palms. Ichthyosis diagnosis calls for sampling of the skin tissue and recording of the medical history of the affected person. Ichthyosis vulgaris is a chronic disorder and though it does improve with age, it requires continuous therapy. The underlying systemic condition usually determines the severity of the ichthyosis that is acquired.

Ichthyosis vulgaris treatment requires hydration of the body and trapping the moisture to prevent loss due to transpiration. Continuous hydration of the affected parts of the skin can help reduce the symptoms to a large extent, while also increasing the pliability of the skin and reducing the chances of development of scales on the folds of the skin. Doctors recommend the use of topical retinoids for most patients.