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Ichthyosis Vulgaris: Treatment, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Sep 25, 2023

What is the Ichthyosis Vulgaris?

Itchyosis Vulgaris treatment is required when a person’s skin does not shed the dead skin on its own thereby creating a dry and scaly effect on the skin. This disease is also called the fish scale disease as the pattern which appears on the affected person’s skin looks like a fish’s scale. The unpleasant condition however, happens mildly in most cases and is restricted to certain areas only. However, some cases do become severe and affect larger areas on the body. The condition may affect the abdomen, back, legs and arms of a person.

This disease may affect infants right from birth or may appear after the first couple of years after birth. Genetics plays a role in this disease as well and follows an autosomal dominant pattern. The condition is one of the most common inherited diseases. However, itchyosis vulgaris rarely develops in adults and if this happens, the condition is associated to cancer, thyroid disease or kidney failure. This condition may also develop with other conditions like eczema and keratosis pelaris. There are no specific treatments available for the condition but you can take precautionary steps to regulate the disease.

How is the Ichthyosis Vulgaris treatment done?

As mentioned above itchyosis vulgaris does not have any specific treatment however, you can take certain steps to regulate the problem and stop it from spreading any further. One of the major steps of doing so is by exfoliating your skin with a loofa or a pumice stone after taking a shower as this helps remove the excess skin. Applying moisturizer which have propylene glycol or urea regularly can also help. With the help of these chemicals your skin can stay moist. To let your skin shed dead cells you can also use products with lactic, urea, or salicylic acid. You should also use humidifier in your house in order to add moisture to the air which prevents your skin from drying out.

There are other prescriptive alternatives which you can fall back on. Specialized antiseptics and ointments can come in handy and help moisturize your skin. This product also helps in reducing the itching and inflammation and helps the dead skin to shed. Using products with lactic acid or hydroxyl acids may help the skin in retaining moisture and reducing the scaling. While using other products with retinoid which help in slowing down the body’s production of the skin cells may also help.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Individuals who show symptoms of thickened, severely dried up, itchy and flaky and brown, gray or white scales on the skin are eligible for the treatment and should get themselves tested for the condition.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Any individual who shows no signs of itchy, scaly and dry skin with redness and inflammation do not need to get themselves treated as they are not eligible for it.


Are there any side effects?

Using products which are rich in retinoid can have side effects like lip swelling, hair loss and birth defects if the medication is taken during pregnancy as the product is made up of substance derived from Vitamin A. Burning, itching, redness and stinging are some of the other side effects of using products which consist lactic acid in them.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

As the condition of Itchyosis Vulgaris cannot be completely cured, the patient needs to learn to live with it. Children may need to attend support group meetings as living with the condition can be difficult at times. Seeking medical help for your mental health may also be helpful for some as these therapies help you in dealing with emotional difficulties.

How long does it take to recover?

As there is no specific treatment for the condition. It becomes a lifelong problem for the person affected by Itchyosis Vulgaris. However, taking certain precautionary steps may help in regulating the problem.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The treatment price in India can range from anything between Rs 10,000 to 20,000.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Since Itchyosis Vulgaris cannot be treated and is a lifelong condition, the treatment dors not have a permanent affect. However, using the prescribed medications and following certain steps help in managing the problem easily.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

You can switch to natural remedies to help manage scaly skin. Various home based remedies like making milk powder, honey and egg yolk paste and applying it on the affected area may come in handy. Other pastes and ingredients which may help are avocado, banana, papaya, almond oil, castor oil and aloe vera, safflower oil, peanut butter, petroleum jelly etc


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Written ByDr. Deepa Kadam MD - AyurvedaDermatology
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