Ichthyosis comes from the Greek root “Ichthy” for fish. We know that the family of “Ichthyoses” are a group of genetic skin diseases that are characterized by dry, thickened and “scaling” skin.
With an Ichthyosis sufferer, the normal shedding process is inhibited or “slowed down” and in extreme cases the production of the skin cells can also be at a more rapid rate than normal. In some cases the condition is very mild to mild. However, at its worst it can be an extremely cosmetically disfiguring condition.
Sufferers in this category also have to cope with many systemic infections due to the constant splitting of the skin and fissures that are often difficult to heal. The sufferer’s immune system is impaired and they find it hard to fight off infections.
There are several different varieties of Ichthyosis. One of the most common forms is “Lamellar” Ichthyosis, which is believed to occur in 1:300,000 births. Lamellar Ichthyosis usually is not noticeable at birth due to the fact that the baby is encased in a ‘collodion – like’ membrane. This membrane initially heals and may appear normal for a period of time.
Slowly as the child grows parchment like scales develop over the entire body. As the skin condition progresses, the scales become very thick and darken to black/brown in colour. Hands and feet (palmar/plantar) are also affected with deep creasing evident coupled with painful skin fissures. Hair growth is impaired due to the large crusted scales covering the head and scaring often leads to alopecia.
Ectropion (droopy eyelids) is another symptom of Lamellar ichthyosis.
In other forms of Ichthyosis e.g. X-linked, skin abnormalities are not apparent at birth. Onset of the symptoms may be delayed to between 2-6 weeks of age. The scales are finer with an erythema (reddened) background. Hand and feet also show the same deep creasing and skin fissures as seen in people who have Lamellar ichthyosis.
It is not an easy condition to treat and much of the treatment is based on trialling various strengths of ointments in order to find the one that the patient best responds to. The ointment mix would also change from time to time, depending on the response and the health of the patient.
Clear up Ichthyosis:
Ichthyosis is incurable and at best treatments are currently aimed at managing or controlling the condition.
Our protocols for the treatment of Ichthyosis are based on clearing up symptoms using dietary advice and through the use of naturally-based topical and oral medicines such as ointments, creams, gels, lotions etc as well as targetted oral medicines, under the brand names of Dr Michaels and Seloderma, as well as some other brands, which assist in breaking the cycle from within.
Address the internal causative factors with respect to nutrients lacking in your diet, or metabolically blocked by your body, by seeing a Skin Professional who can assess which nutrients are lacking in your diet and which ones your body is blocking.