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Ichthyosis or dry skin is hereditary and can be combated with certain lifestyle changes.


THE LARGEST organ of the body, the skin has the ability to maintain the temperature so that the metabolism goes on undisturbed and acts as a protective agent to ward off various infectious organisms, apart from the ubiquitous ultraviolet rays. It is a different matter that good skin is considered necessary to look presentable. Ichthyosis is a condition in which there is a dry, scaly, rough, thickened, fish-like appearance of the skin.
It can be inherited from one of the parents and is an associated feature in some diseases of the thyroid, psoriasis, etc.

Predominantly the neck, the back and the buttocks are the areas affected. It is active during winter season. Itching is the predominant feature leading to scaly or exfoliating skin leaving a raw, bloody surface. There could be a secondary infection of the area with bacteria complicating it further.

Apart from the tightness of the skin, especially if it occurs around the eyes, scaling is painful and is of cosmetic importance too. Since they do not perspire much, temperature control of the body becomes difficult.

Whilst in most people, the growth, dying and shedding of skin happens unnoticed, people with ichthyosis reproduce new skin cells at a rate faster than they can shed it, or reproduce at a normal rate but the rate of shedding is too slow. Either way, there is a build up of dry scaly skin.

Lifestyle changes:

* Bath with hot water should be avoided - warm or cool water is preferable.

* Glycerin-based soaps are good for such skin.

* After bath, moisturisers should be applied immediately to retain moisture.


Homeopathic medicine has excellent remedies that help in alleviating the itching, reduce dryness and scaling and prevent secondary infections.

It reduces the sensitivity to cold and variations of weather, apart from the tendency for dry skin.

Alumina remedies the dry skin around the fingers.

Graphites helps patients of eczema who have predominant dryness of skin not affected by eczema.

At the slightest hint of winter if the skin turns dry, scaly and sometimes with formation of crusts, Petroleum is a good remedy. Sarsaparilla gets rid of the hard, indurated skin with itching usually worse in summer.


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