Ichthyosis vulgaris, the most common variant of the condition, affects about 1 in 250 people, and ranges from very mild to debilitatingly severe, although most cases are mild.
Although a very few babies are born with serious ichthyosis, the most common form of ichthyosis (ichthyosis vulgaris) tends to develop in the first year of life, during which a baby’s skin can gradually become dry, rough and scaly.
Other forms of ichthyosis occur in adulthood in response to a medical condition or medication.
Symptoms of all variations of the condition involve the overproduction of skin cells and include:
- fine light-grey, white or dark brown scales
- affected areas: the trunk, stomach, buttocks, legs, scalp, eyes and ears
- thickened skin, cracks or lines, on palms and soles of feet
- cracked skin
- blisters (can be fluid-filled and prone to infection)
- peeling skin
- tight skin that makes it hard to move
- inflamed scaly skin all over the body
- drooping lower eyelids
- hair loss
- tight skin on the fingers.
Many people with ichthyosis also have eczema, which also affects the skin and can often be managed with emollients.
What products do we recommend for people with ichthyosis?
Although the condition can’t be cured, mild cases can generally be managed with a careful skincare routine. Check with your doctor if you need more intensive treatment, but because ichthyosis is a condition characterised by dry skin, sufferers are usually encouraged to use rich emollients to soften any scaliness and keep skin supple and well-hydrated. Our moisturisers are made to be as gentle and natural as possible, so that skin is cared for rather than irritated.
For really dry, rough or cracked skin:
Skin Salvation balm with hemp, beeswax & calendula (from £7.99 for 30ml)
For general daily maintenance:
Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream with shea butter, hemp & olive (from £13.99 for 100ml)
Balmonds Bath & Body Oil with hemp, lavender & chamomile (£12.99 for 200ml)
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.