The term ichthyosis derives from the Greek word ichthys, which means fish, referring to the cutaneous scaling observed in this group of diseases.

There are several types of ichthyosis, all of rare occurrence, and they may be either congenital or acquired. Congenital ichthyoses are caused by different genetic mutations.

These diseases can only affect the skin, and, in some subtypes, other organs.

The skin of those patients is dry and scaly. The characteristics of the scales vary according to the type of ichthyosis.

The scales can be thin or thick, lamellar, polygonal, located in a generalized or circumscribed manner.

Excessive heat is harmful, as well as environments with low relative humidity.

Long baths and excessive use of soap can also be worsening factors.

Information about Ichthyosis

Definition and Transmission

It is a group of rare diseases, in which the skin shows exaggerated scaling. They can occur right at birth or in the first few years of life. They are not contagious diseases and are usually transmitted from parents to children.


There are several types of the disease, with different forms of scaling, ranging from very fine to thick and dark scales. The skin of people with ichthyosis is dry and there may be thickening of the skin of feet and hands, eyelid eversion (turned outwards) and hair loss.

Care and Treatment

They must be guided by physicians and specialized healthcare professionals. Avoiding excessive heat, low humidity environments, long baths with the use of much soap are strongly recommended. It is indicated the use of moisturizers twice a day, one of them after bathing. Moisturizers must be greasy, as vaseline. In the most intense forms, the physician may recommend the use of oral medicines.

Social Life

The children must be encouraged to get along with other children and adults, attend school and play, including swimming pool activities, with skin hydration care immediately after. As these diseases are not contagious, there are no restrictions on attending public places.

The Reality of Ichthyosis

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