What Is Ichthyosis?
It is important that we keep our skin in the best shape possible. This is not only because of physical appearances, but also because healthy skin is important for good health overall. This is usually not much of a problem, provided we live reasonably healthy lives, but it is not as easy for a lot of people.
Some people are born with medical conditions that affect their skin, while some people will develop such problems later in life. These conditions can cause problems with the skin in various ways and some will cause considerable discomfort. One example of such a skin condition is ichthyosis, and it can be life-changing for some people.
Ichthyosis is a disease that gets its name from the Greek word for fish. It is so called because of the way the disease causes the skin to become scaly. Ichthyosis is not a single disease, but is a blanket term for a group of around 20 related skin conditions. The diseases can be inherited genetically, while they can also be acquired later in life.
The disease causes the patient’s skin cells to shed too slowly, and/or for new cells to arrive too soon. Ichthyosis also causes the patient to lose the barrier that would otherwise help to keep moisture within their skin. The result is thick layers of skin that can be very dry and scaly.