What is ichthyosis?

This is a group of inherited conditions, which cause very dry, thickened and scaly skin. It may only involve the palms and soles, but in some other children it affects the whole body. The pattern of ichthyosis is the same for all affected members of the family.

Treatment consists of keeping the skin soft and moist with aqueous cream. 10% urea in emulsifying ointment can be used in older children with severe ichthyosis. Severe cases must be referred to a skin clinic at a hospital.

Emulsifying ointment is a mixture of emulsifying wax, soft white paraffin and liquid paraffin. It is a very useful bland base for steroids and vioform.

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