Ichthyosis is a disorder of cornification, characterized by persistently dry, thickened, “fish scale” skin. There are at least 20 varieties of ichthyosis, including inherited and acquired forms. All types of ichthyosis have dry, thickened, scaly or flaky skin. In many types there is cracked skin, which is said to resemble the scales on a fish; the word ichthyosis comes from the Ancient Greek (ichthys), meaning "fish."
CASUE OF ICHTHYOSIS : The inherited forms of ichthyosis occur as a result of genetic mutations that alter the appearance and behavior of keratinocytes (skin cells) in the stratum corneum (the outer skin barrier layer). Studies have shown that there are inflammatory cells and cytokines in the Th17 pathway that contribute to symptoms and signs. The cause of acquired ichthyosis is unknown.
WHAT PROBLEMS DOES ICHTHYOSIS CAUSE?
People who have very severe ichthyosis may need to spend several hours each day caring for their skin so they can lead as much of a normal life as possible. At some point during their life people with severe ichthyosis may come against some of the following problems:
Overheating : ichthyosis may affect normal temperature control by reducing the ability to sweat
Limited movement : dry, scaly skin may make it too painful to move some parts of the body
Secondary infection : cracking and splitting of the skin may lead to bacterial skin infections and sometimes systemic infections
TREATMENT FOR ICHTHYOSIS :
Non-soap cleansers (soap may exacerbate dryness)
Bathing in salt water
Rubbing with a pumice stone or exfoliating sponge to remove scale
These are best applied to damp skin
Vitamin D supplementation is advised for patients with severe forms of ichthyosis
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