Ichthyosis: causes, symptoms and treatment.

Ichthyosis is a hereditary skin disease similar to
dermatosis. Pathology is a characteristic process disorder.
keratinization and the appearance of scales on the body, similar to fish scales.
Hence the name of the disease, it comes from the Greek word
ichthys – fish.


  • Causes of ichthyosis
  • Types of ichthyosis
  • Symptoms of ichthyosis
  • Diagnosis of the disease
  • Ichthyosis treatment
  • Disease prevention
  • Prognosis of the disease

Causes of ichthyosis

The main cause of the disease is a gene mutation that
able to be transmitted through the generation. Scientists are still not
unraveled the biochemical process that underlies the disease.
Characteristic symptoms are increased cholesterol,
excessive accumulation of amino acids, metabolic disorders.
The mutation caused by ichthyosis leads to a decrease in metabolic processes:
their activity decreases, the thermoregulation of the skin is disturbed,
The participation of enzymes in oxidative processes increases.
outer layers of skin. People suffering from ichthyosis, noticed
reduced function of the thyroid and genital glands, adrenal glands,
there are difficulties with the activity of the sweat glands, appears
deviation in keratinization of the skin, slowing the rejection of dead cells
epidermis, the process of assimilation of vitamin A is disturbed.

The body of the patient looks very unsightly, it is covered
scales, and between them accumulate amino acid complexes,
which were not absorbed by the body. Stagnant substances give
the cementing effect on the skin, resulting in keratinous cells
tightly interlock with healthy cells. Department
scales causes pain to the patient.


Types of ichthyosis

There are several types of ichthyosis:

  • vulgar (ordinary);
  • serpentine;
  • mother of pearl (brilliant);
  • needle;
  • the black;
  • lamellar

There is another form of ichthyosis, divided into a separate group.
– congenital ichthyosis. It occurs in the fetus in the womb and
expressed violation of the process of normal keratinization of the skin. Child
born with this pathology in the presence of both genes
parents. However, the specific expression of a gene may not cause
100% of its transmission. Usually the congenital form of ichthyosis is not compatible with
child’s life.

Vulgar ichthyosis is the most common hereditary
a form of ichthyosis. Usually develops during the period of sexual

Black ichthyosis develops in older people when aging skin
prone to structural change and enhanced formation
pigment spots.

Symptoms of the disease are especially pronounced in younger children.
age The tissue lesions are very significant and not notice
their impossible. The skin becomes dry due to violation
sebum production. The hair on the head thin and fall out,
become dry and brittle. Children lag behind in their development
peers not only in physiological indicators, but also in
mental development. The immune system weakens that
allows to develop infectious and inflammatory

Symptoms of ichthyosis

The clinical symptoms of ichthyosis depend on the form of the disease. For
ichthyosis vulgaris is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • dry skin;
  • roughness;
  • the formation of light gray or dark gray scales;
  • the appearance of horn plugs at the base of the hair follicles;

In other forms of ichthyosis, there are:

  • black and brown scales;
  • cracks appear between the scales, making them look like
    snake skin;
  • affected areas are located on the back, neck, upper and lower
    limbs, abdomen and scalp.

Diagnosis of the disease

Diagnosis of the disease is not difficult. Doctor
A dermatologist easily diagnoses a disease. In some
cases carry out histological studies to accurately

Ichthyosis treatment

Ichthyosis is treated by a dermatologist in the hospital or
outpatient (depending on the severity of the disease).


The patient is assigned vitamins A, E, B, C and nicotinic acid
long time multiple courses in high doses. Also
prescribed drugs that contribute to the mitigation of scales (lipotropic
action). To increase the resistance of the body are assigned
preparations containing microelements, blood plasma transfusion,
gamma globulin, aloe extract. If systemic lesions are observed
thyroid or pancreas, assigned to the appropriate
treatment: thyroid in the first case and insulin in the second.

In very severe cases or in congenital form of the disease
prescribe hormone therapy. In the period of normalization of the state spend
routine examinations to monitor the general condition of the patient and
prevent the development of complications.

Local therapy includes bathing with a solution
potassium permanganate, salt, starch and smudging affected
plots of cream. Bath water is saturated with vitamin A, chloride
sodium and urea.

UV irradiation of the affected areas, swimming in the sea and
moderate sunbaths improve skin condition
covers. Sulfide and carbonic acids are recommended for patients with ichthyosis.
baths, stimulating metabolism in the dermis. Capable of
remission as a preventive measure shown sludge and
peat mud.  Improvement of the patient’s condition is observed in
case of spa treatment. At home you can
take baths with sea salt, borax and glycerin. Such baths
it is better to alternate: one day – with brown and salt, in another – glycerin in
combinations with borax. Also very effective are baths with the addition of
needles, tea and hay dust.

Disease prevention

It is impossible to prevent the development of ichthyosis, but modern
medicine can prevent the birth of a sick child. Main
disease prevention is the observation of couples with the goal
genetic risk determination. For couples in whose families there were
ichthyosis cases, consultations are being held to
education and explanation of the causes of the disease. Some family
couples are contraindicated in having children in the case of a burdened
heredity of at least one parent. So couples are recommended
adoption of orphans, as the risk of having a sick child
too big.

Prognosis of the disease

Unfortunately, the prognosis of the disease is always unfavorable. because
that even in mild form there is a risk of joining system
diseases and progression of metabolic diseases.

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