Ichthyosis: Description, Causes and Risk Factors: Alternative Name: Sauriasis, alligator skin, fish skin. IchthyosisCongenital disorders of keratinization characterized by noninflammatory dryness and scaling of the skin, often associated with other defects and with abnormalities of lipid metabolism; distinguishable genetically, clinically, microscopically, and by epidermal cell kinetics. Ichthyosis is the clinical condition in which the whole body skin dries and becomes coarse, resulting in scaling. It is caused by abnormality in keratinization and exfoliation of the horny cell layer. The skin is covered with what appear to be fish-like scales. Patients with ichthyosis have a congenital abnormality in keratinization and scaling, and most cases are classified as hereditary keratoses. However, some may appear later in life as acquired conditions; these cases often accompany malignant tumors. Ichthyosis is classified by clinical features, inheritance pattern, and affected sites into more than ten subtypes The cause of ichthyosis depends on the type. Inherited forms of ichthyosis occur as a result of a genetic mutation that is passed down from one generation to the next - sometimes only one person within a family is affected. Ichthyosis may affect limited areas of the skin or most of the skin's surface, depending on which of several GENE mutations is responsible for the condition. Ichthyosis is chronic and lifelong, with symptoms first appearing in early childhood. Ichthyosis may be hereditary or acquired. Symptoms of hereditary ichthyosis are present at birth and can be severe, often affecting the eyes and eyelids. Symptoms: The most common symptoms of ichthyosis are dry, rough, and scaly skin.The various forms are distinguished from one another by: Extent of the scaling and how widely and where the scaling is scattered over the body. Diagnosis: Your doctor or dermatologist can diagnose ichthyosis by examining your skin and the characteristics scales. Certain factors such as your family history of ichthyosis, the age when it first started and the presence of other skin disorders are also taken into consideration. Other tests such as a skin biopsy where a small piece of skin is removed and examined under microscope may also help to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment: Ichthyosis can be treated, but it cannot be cured. The treatments are designed to relieve the symptoms. The primary aim of treatment is to manage this condition by caring for the skin properly and consulting your dermatologist regularly. Medicines such as creams and lotions that contain alpha hydroxyl acids (lactic and glycolic) increase moisture, control, scaling and promote shedding may be prescribed. Retinoids may also be prescribed in severe cases to reduce the production of skin cells. If a skin infection or body odor develops, antibiotics can help but have some harsh side effects such as eye and lip inflammation, hair loss, bone spurts and birth defects during pregnancy. Herbal treatments and natural remedies are an excellent option for skin disorders. A combination of herbs and biochemic tissue salts supports skin health and functioning, and also promote cell renewal. Herbs such as Galium aparine (cleavers) and Trifolium pratense (red clover) help the body to naturally purify and detoxify. Tissue salts such as Natrium muriaticum, Kalium muriaticum and Kalium sulphate help to maintain skin health and promote well-hydrated skin. NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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