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Ichthyosis Vulgaris - Causes and Treatment for Ichthyosis Fish Skin Disease

Referred to as the fish-scale condition or fish-skin disease, ichthyosis vulgaris is a genetic skin condition which causes defunct skin cells and tissues to conglomerate in deep, dense scales on the skin that appear extremely dry on surface. These fish like scales are known to be observed during birth, but in most cases they commonly emerge during the initial stages in childhood. In some occasions ichthyosis vulgaris completely vanishes during most adult years however they are very likely to reappear sometime in the near future.

Even though a majority of the cases of ichthyosis vulgaris are of a severe nature, there is no cure to eliminate ichthyosis vulgaris. It is a chronic condition and the only help available is to palliate the symptoms of controlling the appearance of the abnormal skin cells.

The skin cells that develop are polygonal in shape and size and their colors are much different from that of the skin color, usually grayish black to brown. Those who are dark complexioned tend to have even darker development of the scales. These scales are likely to take place on the elbows and lower parts of the legs, especially on the shins where they may be even thick and dark.

Ichthyosis vulgaris is also a cause for flaking of the scalp and deep burrowing fissures that are often inflamed and painful. These fissures develop on the palms and the soles of the feet. The disease tends to get worse during the winter months and the scales become more prominent in dry atmospheres. And during the summer months, the condition seems to reduce in damp moist conditions.

Types of Ichthyosis Vulgaris Skin Disease - Lamellar Ichthyosis

There are three types of ichthyosis vulgaris. They are lamellar ichthyosis, X-linked ichthyosis and epidermolytic hyperkeratosis. Lamellar ichthyosis is the most severe form of ichthyosis vulgaris which can be seen at birth and is a lifelong condition. In X-linked ichthyosis, the condition begins soon after birth and is known to affect only male children. However this condition is experienced throughout life. The epidermolytic hyperkeratosis of ichthyosis vulgaris is an exceedingly rare type of ichthyosis which forms during birth and is seen mostly on knees, elbows and other regions.

Ichthyosis is not a hereditary disorder and although a rare disease it is normally connected with varied internal abnormalities such as malignancy, thyroid disorders, or lifelong renal failure. The scales are examined to determine the type of ichthyosis, and correctly diagnose the form of the condition. Since the treatment revolves around the underlying problem, to treat the skin would be just superficial applications to control the development of scales.