Last reviewed 01/2018

Ichthyosis refers to several disorders characterised by extremely dry, rough and scaly skin. It is caused by hypertrophy of the horny layer resulting from excessive retention or production of keratin, or a molecular defect in the keratin.

Most cases are inherited but occasionally, it may be acquired, for example in association with a lymphoma.

Generally, no investigations are necessary.

The ichthyoses are mostly lifelong genetic disturbances and the patient must expect continuous therapy.