Management of Ichthyosis: A Brief Review

Allison L. Limmer, BS, BA; Crystal E. Nwannunu, BS; Ravi R. Patel, MD; Uyen N. Mui, MD; Stephen K. Tyring, MD, PhD


Skin Therapy Letter. 2020;25(1):5-7. 

In This Article


The ichthyoses are typically inherited conditions exhibiting disordered keratinization secondary to excessive transepidermal water loss, with the most common variants being ichthyosis vulgaris and X-linked recessive ichthyosis. Ichthyosis management requires a multimodal approach, including topical and oral agents in addition to lifestyle modifications. Topical creams and ointments are the mainstays of treatment utilized to achieve adequate hydration and, when applicable, keratolysis, while more severe phenotypes benefit from the use of oral retinoids. Patients should also be educated regarding bathing practices and avoidance of topical irritants and tobacco, as well as be actively supported by their clinician, as ichthyosis patients often report decreased quality of life.