Last reviewed 01/2018

  • protection of the skin through the regular use of bath oils and emollients such as emulsifying ointment BP and soft white paraffin are helpful
  • keratolytics and urea-containing emollients are usually too irritating for more than occasional use (1)
  • topical vitamin A derivatives may be useful in the management of this condition (1,2)
  • there have been reports of good results with the use of the vitamin D derivative calcipotriol (1)
  • propylene glycol in aqueous cream or ointment can lead to the reduction in palmoplanter hyperkeratosis
  • topical steroids are generally not used to treat ichthyosis because of increased risk of toxicity in erythroderma and poor response
  • antibiotics may be required if secondary infection occurs


  • (1) Prescriber 2000; 11 (20):97-101.
  • (2) Dermatology in Practice 2007;15(4):26-28.