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Health A-Z

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Harvard Medical School


Treatment of all types of ichthyosis involves restoring the skin's moisture and facilitating more aggressive shedding of dead skin cells. Regular visits to a dermatologist can help when ichthyosis causes severe symptoms.

To get the best results, use moisture-retaining creams or ointments after a bath or shower, so that moisture is maintained within the skin surface. Petrolatum, lanolin or urea-containing preparations are very helpful in maintaining skin moisture.

Medicines that promote shedding of skin flakes include lotions or creams that contain lactic acid or other "alpha-hydroxy acids."

If the ichthyosis leads to scratching that causes skin infections, or if body odor is a major problem, antibiotics may be needed from time to time.

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