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Skin Care and Diseases

Very dry & itchy skin



hi,i have a very dry skin. i also have itching problem all over the body. i hope that is because of dry skin. my skin is getting darker & darker day by day & patchy too. and those dark patches are not flat but u can feel it.i have read your previous questions according to that i think it is similar to fish skin or itchythosis. i am really fed up with this. i cant wear certain clothes. i have shown many doctors and dermatologist but everybody says it is nothing they cant figure it out but it is harmless and not affecting any other way to body. please i need a solution. since my mom also has same problem. and her case is now too much all over the body. and i dont want that same thing for my kids. i already have one boy 3yrs and i am really scared for his skin.i am now doing other kid just because of this fear. that he or she would also suffer with this. i will be very grateful if u can answer my question. thank you.


A treatment of ichthyosis vulgaris is best approached by using one of the alpha hydroxy acids in a 10-12% solution applied to moistened skin sparingly twice daily.  In most patients this is helpful with minimum side effects.  Glycolic acid and lactic acid can both be obtained over-the-counter as 5% solutions.  Lactic acid can be obtained over-the-counter in 12% solution.  I would recommend the 5% solution to your face twice daily and the 12% to other parts of your body, first once a day and then twice a day as your body begins to tolerate the irritating effects of this drug.

It is important that you see a geneticist in a medical center such as a Children's Hospital to first establish the form or ichthyosis that you have and then discuss the inheritance pattern from that.  That would be the safest and most accurate way to determine what your children have to look forward to.  Do that soon, so that you will cease to regret, and can plan your family accordingly.


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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati