Skin-nontumor / Clinical dermatology
Other dermatoses
Ichthyosis

Author: Mowafak Hamodat, M.D., MB.CH.B, MSc., FRCPC (see Authors page)

Revised: 1 July 2016, last major update July 2011

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PubMed Search: Ichthyosis [title] skin

Definition / General
  • Disorder of epidermal maturation in which skin resembles fish scales
  • Associated with excessive keratin buildup due to a desquamation defect, leading to retention of abnormally formed scale
  • Usually apparent at birth
  • In adults, is associated with malignancies (lymphoma, carcinoma of bronchus, breast and cervix), sarcoidosis, lupus and drugs
  • Ichthyosis vulgaris: common type
  • Lamellar ichthyosis: rare inherited skin condition of newborn with shedding of plate-like layers of skin
  • X linked variant: deficiency in steroid sulfatase, which removes proadhesive cholesterol sulfate from intracellular spaces
Clinical Features
  • Skin resembles fish scales; rough scaly patches and plaques
Clinical Images

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Lamellar ichthyosis

Micro Description
  • Increased stratum corneum with loss of normal basket weave pattern, minimal inflammation
  • Loss of granular layer in ichthyosis vulgaris