Ichthyosis is a group of skin disorders that cause dryness and scaling. There are two main types:
The inherited type is caused by a genetic defect that is passed from parent to child or that occurs on its own.
The acquired type may be caused by health problems, such as:
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
It can affect any part of the body. It is common on the legs, arms, and trunk. Symptoms can be mild to severe and include:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You may also be asked about your family history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the skin.
Blood tests may be done to look for signs of the gene linked to this health problem.
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There is no cure. The goal of treatment is to manage symptoms. Any underlying cause will also need to be treated.
Treatment may include:
There are no current guidelines to prevent this health problem.
Foundation for Ichthyosis & Related Skin Types
The National Registry for Ichthyosis and Related Disorders
Canadian Dermatology Association
Ichthyosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/ichthyosis. Accessed March 24, 2021.
Ichthyosis. DermNet NZ website. Available at: https://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/ichthyosis. Accessed March 24, 2021.
Newly diagnosed? Foundation for Ichthyosis & Related Skin Types website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed March 24, 2021.
Schmuth M, Martinz V, et al. Inherited ichthyoses/generalized Mendelian disorders of cornification. Eur J Hum Genet. 2013 Feb;21(2):123-133.
Last reviewed December 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 03/24/2021