Ichthyosis Vulgaris: Introduction
Ichthyosis vulgaris is a chronic skin condition marked by dry, scaly skin that most often forms in areas such as the shins, elbows, knees and other exterior surfaces of the extremities. Cold weather can exacerbate the condition. The condition is usually inherited in a dominant manner (hereditary ichthyosis vulgaris), but in rare cases, it can be acquired (acquired ichthyosis vulgaris).
Ichthyosis vulgaris is one of a variety of types of ichthyosis skin diseases. All of the ichthyosis skin diseases have symptoms that include dry, patchy scaly skin. Hereditary ichthyosis vulgaris is the most common type of ichthyosis and a very common genetic disorder.
Hereditary ichthyosis vulgaris is caused by a specific gene mutation. Acquired ichthyosis vulgaris often accompanies other disease, such as certain types of cancer. Acquired ichthyosis vulgaris may also occur with the use of some medications.
Ichthyosis vulgaris occurs in both sexes and all races equally. Hereditary ichthyosis vulgaris is often associated with certain allergic conditions, such as asthma, eczema, and/or asthma.
The severity and symptoms of ichthyosis vulgaris vary between individuals. Symptoms of hereditary ichthyosis vulgaris generally begin between the ages of three months and several years. Symptoms include symmetrical areas of dry, patchy, scaly skin that is often most pronounced on the outside surfaces of the knees, elbows, and on the shins. The areas of joint flexion are generally unaffected.
Symptoms of acquired ichthyosis vulgaris generally begin in adulthood. The dry, scaly skin characteristics are the same are for hereditary ichthyosis vulgaris.
Other symptoms of ichthyosis vulgaris can include itching of the scaly patches of skin. Hereditary ichthyosis vulgaris is generally not a serious condition, but complications can occur due to scratching and for social reasons. Acquired ichthyosis vulgaris can be more serious, depending on the underlying disease and associated complications. For more information on complications and symptoms, refer to symptoms of ichthyosis vulgaris.
A diagnosis of ichthyosis vulgaris includes taking a thorough personal and family health history, including symptoms, and performing a physical exam that focuses on the areas of affected skin. A skin biopsy of affected skin areas may be performed. In a skin biopsy, a small sample of skin is taken to be examined under a microscope in the laboratory for the characteristics of ichthyosis vulgaris. A skin specialist called a dermatologist may be needed to make a diagnosis.
If acquired ichthyosis vulgaris is suspected, other tests may be performed to determine if any other diseases are underlying the ichthyosis vulgaris. Other diseases include certain cancers, such as Hodgkin disease, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, lung cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer and ovarian cancer. Other associated diseases include thyroid disease, kidney failure and autoimmune diseases.
Because the symptoms of ichthyosis vulgaris may be similar to other skin conditions, such as psoriasis, dermatitis, or other types of ichthyosis, a misdiagnosis is possible. For information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of ichthyosis vulgaris.
There is currently no cure for ichthyosis vulgaris, but the condition can be controlled with a good treatment plan individualized to a person's medical history, specific severity of ichthyosis vulgaris, and other factors.
A combination of treatments that include topical medications and treating underlying diseases of acquired ichthyosis vulgaris is the most effective way to best control ichthyosis vulgaris. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of ichthyosis vulgaris. ...more »
Ichthyosis Vulgaris: A skin disorder characterized by dry scaly skin which often forms in areas such as the abdomen, chest, elbows and knees. Cold weather can exacerbate the condition. The condition is usually inherited in a dominant manner but in rare cases it may be acquired.
More detailed information about the symptoms,
causes, and treatments of Ichthyosis Vulgaris is available below.
Ichthyosis Vulgaris: Symptoms
Symptoms of ichthyosis vulgaris can vary greatly in character and intensity among individuals. Symptoms can be negligible or even unnoticeable in some cases. Skin changes are symmetrical and symptoms can range from having minimal skin roughness to moderate scaling to thick, severe skin plates.
Symptoms of hereditary ichthyosis vulgaris generally begin between the ages of ...more symptoms »
Ichthyosis Vulgaris: Treatments
Ichthyosis vulgaris is a chronic condition that is not curable. However, with a well integrated, medically monitored plan of care, symptoms can be effectively controlled, and people with hereditary ichthyosis vulgaris can lead active, comfortable lives. The prognosis for people with acquired ichthyosis vulgaris varies depending on the prognosis of the associated ...more treatments »
Ichthyosis Vulgaris: Misdiagnosis
A diagnosis of the ichthyosis vulgaris begins with taking a thorough health history, including symptoms, and performing a physical exam.
A misdiagnosis is possible because in some cases, the symptoms of the ichthyosis vulgaris can be so mild that they are not even noticed. If they are noticed, they may not be bothersome enough to seek treatment.
A diagnosis of ichthyosis vulgaris can ...more misdiagnosis »
Symptoms of Ichthyosis Vulgaris
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Wrongly Diagnosed with Ichthyosis Vulgaris?
Ichthyosis Vulgaris: Complications
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Causes of Ichthyosis Vulgaris
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More information about causes of Ichthyosis Vulgaris:
Misdiagnosis and Ichthyosis Vulgaris
Psoriasis often undiagnosed cause of skin symptoms in children: Children who suffer
from the skin disorder called psoriasis can often go undiagnosed.
The main problem...read more »
Psoriatic arthritis often undiagnosed cause of joint conditions: Patients with the skin condition psoriasis
can also have the related arthritis subtype called "psoriatic arthritis".
This...read more »
Read more about Misdiagnosis and Ichthyosis Vulgaris
Ichthyosis Vulgaris: Research Doctors & Specialists
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- Immune-Related Disease Specialists (Immunology):
- Skin Health Specialists (Dermatology):
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Evidence Based Medicine Research for Ichthyosis Vulgaris
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Ichthyosis Vulgaris: Animations
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Prognosis for Ichthyosis Vulgaris
Prognosis for Ichthyosis Vulgaris:
The inherited form usually improves with age but may worsen again during old age.
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Research about Ichthyosis Vulgaris
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Statistics for Ichthyosis Vulgaris
Ichthyosis Vulgaris: Broader Related Topics
Types of Ichthyosis Vulgaris
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Definitions of Ichthyosis Vulgaris:
Most common form of ICHTHYOSIS characterized by prominent scaling especially on the exterior surfaces of the extremities. It is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait.
- (Source - Diseases Database)
Ichthyosis Vulgaris is listed as a "rare disease" by the Office of
Rare Diseases (ORD) of the National Institutes of Health
(NIH). This means that Ichthyosis Vulgaris, or a subtype of Ichthyosis Vulgaris,
affects less than 200,000 people in the US population.
Source - National Institutes of Health (NIH)
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