Common Ichthyosis

Vulgar Ichthyosis

  • Beginning: Childhood
  • Clinical picture: Mild
  • Non-syndromic: Does not affect other organs besides the skin.

Ichthyosis vulgaris is the most common form of disease onset: approximately 1 in 250 newborns. There can be big variation in the severity of clinical manifestations.

It is not considered a rare disease in Europe and is relatively benign.

Newborns generally have normal skin. The disease will manifest itself throughout the first years of life.

The scales of ichthyosis vulgaris are thin and whitish and tend to be more prominent on the extensor surfaces of extremities, respecting folds (flexures).

The lower extremities are often the most severely affected area. Here, the scales can be adhered in the center and ‘cracked’ (with superficial fissures in the corneum stratum) at the edges.

The diaper area is usually not affected.

Follicular keratosis is common on the back of the arms, thighs, and buttocks.

The palms of the hands present hyperlinearity. Eczema on the skin and even asthma often appear. These previous symptoms can difficult the diagnosis since they are observed in patients with atopic dermatitis.

Symptoms worsen in dry and cold climates, and improve in warm and humid environments, where drastic improvements can be seen. An improvement is usually observed progressively in the patient’s life as well.