Ichthyosis vulgaris is an inherited skin ailment in which dead skin cells build up on the surface of the skin in thick, dry scales. The scales of ichthyosis vulgaris, also known as fish scale disease or fish skin disease, can emerge as early as birth, but they commonly appear in early infancy. Mild cases of ichthyosis vulgaris might sometimes go unnoticed since they're misdiagnosed as excessively dry skin. It can be seen as dry skin on legs looks like snakeskin.
Symptoms of Ichthyosis Vulgaris
Causes of Ichthyosis Vulgaris
- Skin that is thick and rough and seems unclean, especially on the palms and soles of the feet and dry skin on legs looks like snakeskin.
- Because the symptoms of ichthyosis vulgaris can be so subtle, many people are unaware they have it. Because they believe their skin is dry, they apply moisturizer, which can help to minimize scaling.
- The palms of the hands and the soles of the feet have extra lines. In severe situations, the lines may extend deep, producing skin splits. An infection could develop if the cracks are deep enough.
- Inability to adequately perspire (sweat). This occurs in extreme circumstances and might result in overheating (because perspiration cools down the body).
- Scales on the front of the legs, back of the arms, scalp, back, or stomach that are white, gray, or brown. The forehead and cheeks are the most common places on the face where scales occur. The edges of the scales curl occasionally, causing the skin to feel scratchy.
Risk factors for developing ichthyosis vulgaris
- Ichthyosis vulgaris can be present at birth or develop during a child’s first few years. It usually goes away in early childhood. It’s possible that some people will never experience symptoms again. Others, though, may experience it again as adults.
- Adults who do not carry the faulty gene can acquire ichthyosis vulgaris in rare situations. Though this is a rare occurrence, it is frequently linked to other illnesses such as cancer, kidney failure, or thyroid problems. It has also been linked to the use of certain drugs.
- Other skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis or keratosis pilaris, can coexist with ichthyosis vulgaris. Atopic dermatitis, often known as severe eczema, is characterized by incredibly itchy skin rashes.
Patients may have signs of ichthyosis vulgaris before being diagnosed with more serious conditions. Symptoms of ichthyosis vulgaris, on the other hand, can arise years after patients have been diagnosed with more serious illnesses. dry skin on legs looks like snakeskin are more common in the winter, when the cold and dry air exacerbates symptoms. Because of the warm, moist air, the sickness can almost vanish in the summer.
Diagnosis of Ichthyosis Vulgaris
A dermatologist, a doctor who specializes in skin conditions, can usually diagnose ichthyosis vulgaris just by looking at it. Your doctor will inquire about any skin disease history in your family, the age at which you first noticed symptoms, and whether you have any other skin conditions.
Your doctor will also take note of where the dry skin patches emerge. This will assist your doctor in determining the efficacy of your treatment. Other tests, such as a blood test or a skin biopsy, may be ordered by your doctor. This will rule out other skin disorders that have similar symptoms, such as psoriasis. A skin biopsy is a procedure in which a tiny portion of the afflicted skin is removed and examined under a microscope.
Treatment options for Ichthyosis Vulgaris
The following are variety of treatments available for Ichthyosis Vulgaris (dry skin on legs looks like snakeskin)
Over The Counter medications
- Some patients claim that reducing the burning and stinging by adding sea salt (or table salt) to the water helps. Adding salt to the mix may also help to relieve the itching.
- A skin infection must be treated. Your dermatologist will treat a skin infection with medication that you either take or apply to your skin.
- During your baths, reduce the scale. Scale is softened by soaking in water. Your dermatologist would recommend gently wiping the scale with an abrasive sponge, buff puff, or pumice stone while it’s still soft.
- Water from a bath or shower can be sealed into your skin using moisturizer.
- Within two minutes of bathing, apply moisturizer to damp skin.
- A moisturizer with an active substance like urea, alpha hydroxy acid, or lactic acid may be recommended by your dermatologist. These, as well as other active compounds, can aid in the reduction of scale.
- Your dermatologist may suggest that you add a little amount of bleach to your bath if you have a lot of skin infections. This treatment, known as bleach bath therapy, can help to eliminate microorganisms on your skin. If your dermatologist advises it, you should only use bleach bath therapy.
- To treat deep fractures, use petroleum jelly. This will aid in the removal of deep cracks.
In addition, your doctor may prescribe specialist lotions or ointments to help hydrate the skin, remove dead skin, and reduce inflammation and itching and prevent dry skin on legs looks like snakeskin. Topical therapies containing the following substances may be among them:
Ichthyosis Vulgaris Myths
Alpha Hydroxy Acids, such as lactic acid: These substances, which are also found in anti-aging cosmetics, aid in the retention of moisture and the reduction of scaling on the skin.
- Retinoid: In tough circumstances, retinoids may be used to slow your body’s synthesis of skin cells. Because these compounds are made from vitamin A, they may have certain negative side effects. Lip swelling and hair loss are possible side effects. If consumed during pregnancy, birth abnormalities may occur.
Here are some common myths about Ichthyosis Vulgaris:
Prevention, Habits & Management tips
- Ichthyosis is a contagious disease.
- Ichthyosis is extremely rare, and we have no family history of it, so I don’t need to be concerned.
- Because their skin is on fire and aches all of the time, people with ichthyosis frequently seem quite red. Others with ichthyosis must clean themselves more thoroughly because their skin is dark and filthy.
- Ichthyosis patients frequently do not live long.
- Ichthyosis is a condition in which you don’t have any sweat glands and are constantly overheated.
- Ichthyosis patients may have various medical problems and impairments.
Dermatologists frequently offer the following suggestions with their patients with this long-term skin issue of dry skin on legs looks like snakeskin to help them receive the greatest results from treatment:
- Exfoliants can be used to assist slough off dead skin cells that have collected on the patchy afflicted areas. Lactic or salicylic acid are two substances to search for because they assist remove the top layer of the skin.
- Loofahs or pumice stones are sometimes recommended as physical scrubs. However, they must be taken with caution to avoid further drying out your skin.
- Doctors will prescribe antibiotics or steroid creams to treat the inflammation in severe cases where the skin has become infected.
- In extreme conditions, skin affected by ichthyosis vulgaris should also be covered. In the winter, layering is recommended, with humidifiers being a wonderful alternative for hydrating your skin if you spend a lot of time in air conditioning rooms.
Ichthyosis is a series of skin illnesses in which the skin becomes excessively dry, thick, and scaly. The skin frequently resembles fish scales.
Ichthyosis can be classified into more than 20 different forms. Ichthyosis vulgaris is the most prevalent kind. This kind affects around 95% of patients with ichthyosis. Follow your treatment plan as directed. It is possible to keep ichthyosis vulgaris under control by continuing to bathe, moisturize, and decrease scale.
- Is Ichthyosis vulgaris a life-threatening condition?
It will not cause any life-threatening situations if left untreated, but it will have a significant impact on your quality of life. Complications such as excessive dryness and severe wounds can be quite painful.
- Is it possible to treat ichthyosis vulgaris using natural remedies?
DIY natural therapies will be ineffective in treating the ailment because it is chronic and has no cure. Furthermore, home cures might irritate and enlarge the affected area even more.
- Does ichthyosis get worse as you get older?
With time, the condition normally improves. People with ichthyosis vulgaris lead normal lives for the most part, though they will almost always need to treat their skin. The condition has a minor impact on overall health.