Ichthyosis refers to a group of genetic skin disorders that are characterized by dry skin and excessive shedding of scale (fish scale). It affects both sexes and all races. It can be evident at birth or during early childhood. Adults may develop ichthyosis called then acquired ichthyosis that maybe due to thyroid disease or in association with lymphoma and certain medications.
Most cases are inherited from affected or carrier parents, while some are due to spontaneous mutation in the patient him/herself. Once suspected clinically, biopsy and genetic testing are performed to classify the type of ichthyosis so an appropriate treatment can be administered.
In addition to dry skin the patient may suffer from a constellation of symptoms that all add up to impact depending on the severity of the condition, the lifestyle and psychology of the affected individual.
Patients may suffer from lack of sweating which causes overheating, dehydration, fragile and easily blistering skin. This predisposes them for recurrent infections, which may also affect hair and eyes. Rare cases are associated with growth retardation.
The disease doesn’t only affect the body: the general appearance of the constantly dry and peeling skin can be socially stigmatizing and patients may suffer from secondary psychological issues.


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