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Skin Care and Diseases

Ichthyosis

01/04/2007

Question:

Are there any medications (I mean vitamins or other oral kind) that might help in case of ichthyosis? I use creams and lotions but the skin is still very dry. Where may I find a doctor (not a general dermatologist) who specializes in this disease? Thanks

Answer:

There are only a few oral/systemic medications that may benefit ichthyosis. These are often the Vitamin A derived medications such as Accutane (Isotretinoin) and Soriatane (Acitretin). These are usually reserved for moderate to severe disabling icthyoses. Vitamin A at high doses may be of help, but has a lot of potential toxicities and shouldn't be used without a doctor's supervision.

Depending on the type of Ichthyosis that you have (vulgaris, X-linked, lamellar, etc.) your doctor may just recommend topical therapies (often with active ingredients such as lactic acid, urea, and rarely salicylic acid) and moisturizing lotions, or may recommend oral therapies as described above.

You can see a board certified dermatologist at an academic center for further care and information. Depending on your age, ones specifically trained in pediatric dermatology may have more experience.

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Response by:

Pranav   Sheth, MD Pranav Sheth, MD
Formerly:
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati