Ichthyosis or Alligator Skin Disease
Ichthyosis is a genetic skin disorder characterized
by extremely dry, fish-like scaly skin. Itis often accompanied
by cracking, as well as a burning or stinging sensation.
It is also called alligator skin, and fishskin
How is it Pronounced?
Eek-THEE-o-ses. Plural: ichthyoses (eek-THEE-o-sez). Ichthyosis
is derived from the Greek word ichthys, meaning fish.
Symptoms of Ichthyosis
The symptoms of ichthyosis are:
- Thickened, dry skin
- Tightening and cracking of the skin
- Many white fish-like scales
- Burning and stinging sensation
The fish-like scales occur everywhere on the body and heaviest
on the legs and arms. The symptoms of this condition is also aggravated
by the dry weather during winter.
During severe outbreaks, the skin become tight and may crack,
therefore causing it to be susceptible to rashes and infections.
Causes of Ichthyosis
Itchthyosis is occurs when skin is not shed properly and there
is a build-up of cell on the outermost skin layer, resulting in
the appearance of being covered by white "fish scales".
Most sufferers of this condition have it since infancy or early
childhood. Adult-onsetichthyosis is usually caused by:
- side-effects of medications, such as cholesterol-lowering
- complications of diseases, such as AIDS, kidney failure, and
How Can It Be Prevented?
Sufferers of ichthyosis can prevent outbreaks by:
- Using heavy lubricants or moisturizers
- Using moisturizing soap
- Using alpha-hydroxy acids to help shed skin build-up
Treatment for Ichthyosis
There is no cure for ichthyosis. However, its symptoms can be
treated by prescription alpha-hydroxy acid moisturizers.