ICHTHYOSIS

Ichthyosis refers to a group of genetic skin disorders that are characterized by dry skin and excessive shedding of scale (fish scale). It affects both sexes and all races. It can be evident at birth or during early childhood. Adults may develop ichthyosis called then acquired ichthyosis that maybe due to thyroid disease or in association with lymphoma and certain medications.
Most cases are inherited from affected or carrier parents, while some are due to spontaneous mutation in the patient him/herself. Once suspected clinically, biopsy and genetic testing are performed to classify the type of ichthyosis so an appropriate treatment can be administered.
In addition to dry skin the patient may suffer from a constellation of symptoms that all add up to impact depending on the severity of the condition, the lifestyle and psychology of the affected individual.
Patients may suffer from lack of sweating which causes overheating, dehydration, fragile and easily blistering skin. This predisposes them for recurrent infections, which may also affect hair and eyes. Rare cases are associated with growth retardation.
The disease doesn’t only affect the body: the general appearance of the constantly dry and peeling skin can be socially stigmatizing and patients may suffer from secondary psychological issues.

fishskin-disease_ichtyosis1

What You Can Do

Patient should use sun protection and avoid dehydration as well as infection. There is no cure for Ichthyosis and patients have to continuously moisturize the skin. Psychological and moral support is an important factor for the patients, secondary or primary, and should be provided by family and friends.

What We Can Do For You

Petroleum jelly and urea containing emollients are frequently prescribed and advised to apply on wet skin, in addition to soap-free cleansers for showers. In case of severe disease, oral retinoids (acitretin and isotretinoin) can be administered.
Secondary infection is treatable and should be addressed with appropriate antibiotics.

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