Ichthyosis is a skin disorder that is usually inherited. Your skin produces too many skin cells that turn into scales on the surface of your skin. The patches might have a harlequin pattern and they can affect your self-esteem because you might not want to wear anything that exposes your skin.
The disorder isn’t life threatening or dangerous and it mainly affects your appearance. Your skin will look dry and the scales could also affect your scalp, making your scalp flakes. When the dead skin cells get too deep, your skin can crack, which can be painful.
Many people find that the condition gets worse when the weather is cold and dry and that when the weather is humid and warm the condition clears up. You should definitely see the doctor if you think you have this disorder because you are likely to need medication to treat it.
No one knows what causes this disorder, but it is commonly genetic. You can also get this disorder if you have cancer or thyroid disease. The disorder can interfere with the way your body cools off because the scales make it harder for your body to sweat. This can lead to excessive sweating. You can also get a skin infection from your skin splitting or cracking.
Ichthyosis isn’t curable, so your doctor will put you on a treatment plan that can help you manage the disease. You may need prescription ointments that help remove the scales and keep your skin extra moist. You may also need oral medication that can reduce your skin cell production.
There are also things you can do at home to control the disease like always moisturizing and exfoliating regularly to remove some of the scales. Lactic acid products are good because they dissolve the scales.
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