Medical Encyclopedia

Ichthyosis

What is ichthyosis?

Ichthyosis (from the Greek ichthys - fish) is a hereditary disease of the outer layer of skin, consisting in the violation of keratinization. In the skin (the largest human organ) scholars distinguish three layers: the superficial - the epidermis and deep - the dermis and subcutaneous fat. The most superficial layer of the epidermis - the horny, it consists of several layers of cells. The epidermis protects the body from the harmful effects of external factors. When ichthyosis, stratum corneum is much thicker than usual, so this skin is dry and resembles fish scales.

Symptoms of ichthyosis

  • Dry skin.
  • Crack, easily damaged skin.
  • Peeling of the skin, scales.

Causes of ichthyosis

Ichthyosis - the most common form of hereditary diseases of keratinization. In humans, this disease is disturbed mechanism of formation of the horny layer of dead skin cells. Therefore, the stratum corneum is much thicker than it should be. There are several types of ichthyosis, in which different degrees of severity.

Treatment of ichthyosis

Ichthyosis

Unfortunately, this disease is incurable and lifelong. However, applying special ointments and creams can reduce dryness and flaking of the skin. In warm years, many patients feel much better than in winter. Therefore patients are advised to visit a solarium (though not too often).

Each time after exposure to sunlight should be absorbed by the skin cream, you should not use funds to care, dries the skin, such as soap.

Usually ichthyosis diagnosed in childhood during the inspection. If within one year the patient's condition worsens, you should seek medical advice again.

Doctor will refer the patient to a dermatologist (a specialist in skin diseases), which will assess the condition and symptoms of the patient, prescribe a special cream or ointment.

Course of the disease

In the mild form this disease is manifested even in infancy. Periodic improvement or deterioration of the child depends on the change of seasons. However, often the right skin care and regular use of special nourishing creams (and sometimes stay in the sun) can help prevent the worsening ichthyosis. There is a congenital form of ichthyosis, which is incompatible with life, in which the entire body is covered with horny layers of the newborn.

Except for the above forms when the skin is unable to perform its function, all other forms are not dangerous.

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