Ichthyosis is a genetic skin disorder characterised by persistently dry , thickened , rough , fish scale. The prefix “Ichthy” is taken from the Greek root for the word fish. There are at least 20 varieties of ichthyosis , including inhereted and aquired forms.
Ichthyosis affects people of all ages , races and gender. The disease usually presents at birth or whitin the first year and it continues to affect the patient throughout the lifetime.
CAUSE OF ICHTHYOSIS
In most of the cases around 95 % it is inherited from parents is Ichthyosis Vulgaris. The other main forms of inherited ichthyosis includes lamellar ichthyosis , epidermolystic hyperkeratosis and X-linked ichthyosis.
The mutated gene causes abnormality in the normal life cycle of skin. In most of the people the growth , dying and shedding of the skin is so fast that they doesn’t even notice it.
Aquired ichthyosis is not inhereted and occurs for the first time in adulthood. Most of the time it is associated with some general systemic diseases like underactive thyroid states ,Sarcoidosis , lymphoma , generalised cancer , HIV infections. It may be provoked by certain drugs like Nicotinic acid , hydroxyurea and kava.
PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH ICHTHYOSIS
The most teasing problem is psychological symptoms due to the abnormal skin condition.
Besides scaling conditions there may be medical complications like dehydration , infections , chronic blistering , overheating and rapid calory loss.
Patients often feels isolation , low self esteem and depression as the disese progress.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
There are different types of Ichthyosis and signs and symptoms may varies amongst the different types of ichthyosis. The dryness , rough and scaly skin are common features.
- Ichthyosis Vulgaris – causes dry ,scaly skin and affects approximately 1 in every 250 people making it the most common type of Ichthyosis. At birth skin may appears normal. Skin gradually becomes dry,rough , scaly with most symptoms appears by the age of 5. May affect all the parts of body including scalp and face. Bends of arma and legs are usually spared. Most of the time it is associated with Atopic Dermatitis.
- X- linked Ichthyosis – Generalized scaling is present at birth . Dark brown or grey scales mainly on the skin of the neck , trunk and lower body areas. May cause corneal opacities. Associated with steroid sulphatase deficiency in fibroblasts and elevated plasma cholesterol sulphate. Only males are affected with this ichthyosis. May be associated with testicular disease.
- Ichthyosis Lamellaris – or Lamellar ichthyosis - scaling that forma mainly in the joint area including the groin , armpits and neck. . it is often called collodion baby as at the birth the baby is covered by a thickened collodion like membrane which is then shed. May results in dropping lower eyelids.
- Harlequins Ichthyosis – This is the most severe form of congenital ichthyosis. Large diamond shaped scales which are so thick they limit movement.
- Epidermolytic hyperkeratosis – Previously it called Bullous Ichthyosiform erythroderma. Skin is mosit , red and tender at the time of birth. Fluid filled blisters may occurs which may become infected and give rise to a foul skin odour. Thick generalised scaling occurs within a few days.
- Ichthyosis acquisita - It is aaquired ichthyosis may develop in patients at any age with certain forms of malignant diseases and infectious diseases, in dietary and Vit A deficiencies. Side effect of cholesterol lowering medications , in dialysis patients , hypothyroidism or for no apparent reason.
AYURVEDIC TREATMENT OF ICHTHYOSIS
- The main goal of treatment is to moisturise and exfoliate the skin. This helps to pervent dryness , scaling , cracking and build up of the skin.
- People suffering from ichthyosis needs to bathe , moisturise and exfoliate their skin daily on a regular bases.
- Our Advanced Ayurveda Skin Treatment Centre has devolped many creams , lotions and oils which are very helpful to keep the skin mosit and it also pervent the dehydration of skin hence the dryness covers automatically.
- Allply these herbal and ayurvedic creams and lotions to the wet skin immediately after bathe within 3 minutes of showering.
- The people who have aquired ichthyosis may need internal lubrication which is one form of Panchakarma “ Snehan” .
- Oral herbal and ayurvedic medicines are not much role directly but indirectly it strengthens the skin and the tissues of the body by enhancing immune system and rejuvenates the skin.