- What It Is
- Risk Factors
- Living With
- User Questions
- Alternative Treatment
- Care Guide
- Questions for Your Doctor
- When to Contact a Doctor
- Find a Doctor
- Resource Guide
How to Treat Ichthyosis
Since there is no cure for ichthyosis, treatment consists of managing the symptoms. Most treatment is aimed at keeping the skin moist. In severe cases, medication may be prescribed. For the acquired form, treatment that lessens the severity of the underlying noninherited condition may also help lessen the symptoms of the associated ichthyosis.
Many types of moisturizing ointments, lotions, and creams are used to lessen or alleviate symptoms of ichthyosis. These include:
- Petroleum jelly
- Mineral oil
- Creams, lotions, and ointments containing vitamin A
- A large variety of nonprescription, unscented moisturizers
For ichthyosis that causes scaling:
- Solutions or creams with lactic or salicylic acid or urea may help.
- In some cases, doctors may suggest wrapping affected areas with a plastic or cellophane "bandage" after applying moisturizing agent. Such bandages should not be used on children.
In severe cases, drugs are sometimes prescribed, including:
- Etretinate and isotretinoin -These medications are retinoids, which are derivatives of vitamin A; excess amounts of vitamin A can be harmful.
- Antibiotics (if the skin becomes infected)
- Disinfecting soaps (eg, chlorhexidine)