Health Issues

Ichthyosis Vulgaris: Skin condition

Ichthyosis vulgaris is a skin condition where the skin’s surface
becomes dry, thick, and scaly.
Most cases of ichthyosis are hereditary and begin in childhood. In
rare instances, adults can acquire the condition as a side effect of
certain medications or other medical conditions.
Currently, there is no known cure for the condition, but the
consistent and regular use of moisturizers and exfoliants are often
enough to resolve symptoms.
Ichthyosis vulgaris is a type of ichthyosis, a group of related skin
conditions that interfere with the skin’s ability to shed dead skin
cells, causing extremely dry, thick skin.
There are more than 20 different types of ichthyosis, but ichthyosis
vulgaris is considered the most common form. It accounts for nearly 95
percent of all ichthyosis cases.
Ichthyosis is a relatively common condition, impacting approximately 1
in every 250 people. It usually develops in early childhood, typically
between the ages of 2 and 5.
Ichthyosis vulgaris is often called fish scale disease because the
scales that characterize the condition look like fish scales.
Harlequin ichthyosis is a rare form of ichthyosis that is present at
birth. A newborn with the condition will have thick plates of skin
that crack and split apart. Eating and breathing may be difficult, and
infection may occur.
In the past, it was difficult to survive more than a few days with
this condition. Now, however, treatment is available. If applied
immediately, it can be effective. Some children with harlequin
ichthyosis are already living into their teens and 20s.
Causes
Most cases of ichthyosis vulgaris are caused by a mutation in the gene
responsible for encoding filaggrin. This is a protein that helps
create the skin’s natural barrier.
Without an effective barrier, the skin struggles to retain moisture
and a consistent pH.
Chronically dehydrated skin cells begin to thicken and harden as they
age. They then move to the surface of the skin, where they become
fixed scales.
A vast majority of ichthyosis cases are inherited. Individuals with
one copy of the abnormal gene tend to have milder cases than those
with two copies.
The condition can also be caused by: The use of certain medications,
systemic conditions and  conditions that affect the entire body.
Treatment.
A variety of environmental factors and lifestyle habits dehydrate the
skin, intensifying the dryness and scaling associated with ichthyosis
vulgaris.
Some easy ways to reduce the likelihood of worsening symptoms include:
Avoiding environments with cold or dry air, taking short showers or
baths, cutting down on the frequency of bathing.
Avoiding harsh or scented soaps, detergents, body washes, shampoos and
conditioners, blotting, rather than rubbing the skin after exposure to
water,   applying moisturizers immediately (within 3 minutes) after
showers or baths
after moisturizing, cover the skin with sealants, such as plastic wrap
for a few hours to physically trap moisture and increase saturation,
avoiding heavily air-conditioned environments, avoiding places
controlled by centralised heating.
Avoiding environments with high air pollution that can interfere with
the skin’s natural pH,  avoiding the use hard tap water that
interferes with the skin’s pH, using sunscreen, ideally those with
added moisturizers,  avoiding pools and hot tubs that contain skin
drying chemicals and irritants, such as chlorine, treating other skin
drying conditions, such as eczema.

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