Ichthyosis vulgaris is a skin disorder passed down through families that leads to dry, scaly skin.
Common ichthyosis; Fish scale disease
Ichthyosis vulgaris is one of the most common of the inherited skin disorders. It may begin in early childhood. The condition is inherited in an
The condition is often more noticeable in the winter. It may occur along with
Dry skin, severe
- Scaly skin (
- Possible skin thickening
- Mild itching of the skin
The dry, scaly skin is usually most severe on the legs. But it can also involve the arms, hands, and middle of the body. Persons with this condition may also have many fine lines on the palm of the hand.
Exams and tests
Your doctor can usually diagnose this condition by looking at your skin. Tests may be needed to rule out other possible causes of dry, scaly skin.
Your doctor will ask if you have a family history of similar skin dryness.
Your doctor will recommend heavy-duty moisturizers. Creams and ointments work better than lotions. Apply these to moist skin immediately after bathing. You should use mild, non-drying soaps.
Your doctor may tell you to use hydrating-moisturizing creams that contain keratolytic chemicals such as lactic acid, salicylic acid, and urea. These chemicals help skin shed normally.
Ichthyosis vulgaris can be bothersome, but it rarely affects your overall health. The condition usually disappears during adulthood, but may return years later.
A bacterial skin infection may develop if scratching causes openings in the skin.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if:
Symptoms continue despite treatment
Symptoms get worse
Skin lesions spread
New symptoms develop