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Ichthyosis Information and Treatment

Ichthyosis is a family of dermatological conditions. People with ichthyosis have scaly skin which can vaguely resemble the scales of a fish. Acquired ichthyosis is not inherited and occurs for the first time in adulthood. It is usually associated with some general systemic disease, such as underactive thyroid states, sarcoidosis, lymphoma, generalised cancer or HIV infection. It may be provoked by certain medications (such as nicotinic acid and hydroxyurea). Ichthyosis vulgaris, accounts for 95% of all ichthyosis cases. Inheritance is autosomal dominant i.e. it is passed from a parent to about half their children. Signs and symptoms of ichthyosis vulgaris usually become apparent within the first year of life. Some of these conditions primarily affect the skin such as Ichthyosis Vulgaris X-linked Ichthyosis; Non-Bullous Ichthyosiform Erythroderma; Lamellar Ichthyosis.

Harlequin Ichthyosis is a chronic skin disorder. Harlequin Ichthyosis is a common condition which can occur in any age group. These scales can be present at birth, but usually first appear in early childhood. Sometimes ichthyosis vulgaris disappears entirely for most of the adult years, only to return later. Though most cases are mild, some cases of ichthyosis vulgaris are severe. Since there is no cure, treatments focus on controlling the signs and symptoms. Ichthyosis may be annoying but seldom affects medical health. It usually improves during adulthood but may recur when a person becomes elderly. The various forms of Ichthyosis are distinguished from one another by:1) extent of the scaling and how widely and where the scaling is scattered over the body; 2) the presence or absence and intensity of reddening of the skin (erythroderma); 3) the mode of inheritance; and 4) the character of associated abnormalities. Ichthyosis involves development of dry, scaly skin. It may be associated with atopic dermatitis , keratosis pilaris (small bumps on the back of the arms), or other skin disorders.

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