Ichthyosis: What is it?

Woman applying a cream at the back of her right hand

In this world with a diverse spectrum of dermatological conditions, there exists a group of skin disorders with more than 20 varieties. Ichthyosis is a rare skin condition mostly genetic, but can also develop because of another disease or medication. But what is ichthyosis? In this article, we’re providing you with knowledge about this rare skin condition, including its symptoms to products that can help alleviate them.

What is Ichthyosis?

In a nutshell, ichthyosis is a constellation of inherited skin disorders marked by chronically dry, thickened, and scaly skin. Named after the Greek word for fish, “ichthys,” the hallmarks of this skin condition have an appearance like fish scales. These scales can be present in areas of the body like the limbs (arms and legs), the torso, the face, and the ears. These lesions may even cover the entire body, depending on the type.

Types of Ichthyoses

Scaly skin

Ichthyosis has more than 20 types, and each differs in the severity of symptoms, appearance, and cause. Each type also has two categories: inherited or acquired. Inherited types may be present at birth or have delayed onset. Here are some types of ichthyoses:

  • Ichthyosis vulgaris. This is the most common and mildest form of ichthyosis, accounting for approximately 95% of ichthyosis cases, most commonly appearing on the elbows and lower legs. Ichthyosis vulgaris often starts in childhood, and its symptoms include dry, thick, rough, scaly skin, itchiness, bumpiness, and cracking of the skin. Additionally, this condition causes many lines to appear on the palms and soles of the feet and for some people, severe ichthyosis will cause inability to sweat enough.
  • X-linked ichthyosis. This is a form of ichthyosis that affects males only. Its scales appear brownish and adhere to the skin during its early appearance. Moreover, it typically affects the scalp and surfaces where the skin stretches when flexed, like the elbows and knees.
  • Acquired ichthyosis. This form typically manifests in adulthood and is linked with other diseases and medications. Acquired ichthyosis (AI) is characterized by dry, scaly skin that can be mild to severe and its symptoms are quite like other ichthyosis forms, with the skin appearing dry, rough, and scaly.

Understanding the different types of ichthyoses can offer insights into the outcome and potential treatments that can be used to manage its symptoms.

See related: How to treat eczema flare-ups symptoms

Present-Day Ichthyosis Management

Brown scrubbing cloth tied in a cylinder on a black circular marble

Currently, there is no cure for ichthyosis. The mainstay of management is regular, intensive skin care to hydrate the skin and promote the shedding of scales. This typically includes:

  • Moisturizing. Using products like lotions, creams, ointments, and bath oils can prevent the skin from drying and cracking, avoiding infections.
  • Exfoliating. Applying peeling creams and using physical methods like rubbing help remove the build-up of scales.
  • Bathing. Take baths as often as directed by health professionals. This can soak up scales and while bathing, you can gently exfoliate to help remove dead skin cells.
  • Avoiding harsh soaps. Use mild, fragrance-free soaps and cleansers to avoid irritation and further drying of the skin.
  • Wearing comfortable clothing. Opt for soft, breathable fabrics to minimize skin irritation.
  • Consult with a dermatologist. Speak to a healthcare professional or dermatologist for more personalized recommendations, and possible prescription medications, and to discuss medical care.

See related: Natural treatments for psoriasis: a look into the world of scaly skin

Support your skin with CANhaveTODAY

CANhaveTODAY has just the right products if you’re looking to soothe and relieve your ichthyosis symptoms. We carefully formulated our products after years of scientific research on carefully selected essential oils to give your skin the relief it deserves. CANhaveTODAY has four skin care products that can support your skin in its battle with ichthyosis symptoms. A quick note: These products contain Sodium borate. The government of Canada does not recommend the use of products containing Sodium borate on open wounds, cuts, or abrasions.

Sparkling Rain New Product Photo

Revitalize your skin with Sparkling Rain, a moisturizer infused with ingredients that will help hydrate and lock in moisture on your skin! With the powers of chaga mushroom and grapefruit essential oils, this moisturizer will help protect your skin from further damage by bacteria or sunlight.

Waters Mist and Soothing Juggernaut

Our Waters Mist and Soothing Juggernaut salves, meanwhile, can assist in providing cool, soothing relief to the itchiness of ichthyosis! Are you worried about your skin getting infected? Waters Mist and Soothing Juggernaut can help! Waters Mist has tea tree oil, lemongrass essential oil, and cinnamon essential oil as its main ingredients, while Soothing Juggernaut harnesses the properties of arnica, frankincense, and cypress essential oils. Studies show that these essential oils have excellent antimicrobial properties, which may help your skin fight against bacteria and fungi [Table 1].

Healing Legends New Product Photo

Does your ichthyosis have cracks and wounds? We can help using Healing Legends, a soothing salve made with myrrh, bergamot, and frankincense essential oils. These essential oils help accelerate wound healing and assist in rebuilding the skin after injury [Table 1]. Healing Legends can also provide the moisturizing your skin needs as its main ingredients have strong moisturizing properties, all while helping keep bacteria and fungi at bay!

Learn more about CANhaveTODAY products using the table below.

 Waters MistSoothing JuggernautHealing Legends (with Frankincense)Sparkling Rain
 Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)Arnica (Arnica montana)Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquuu)Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
AntibacterialMild to Strong [1,2]Strong [25]Strong [42]Mild to Strong [53,54,55]Moderate [62]Moderate to Strong [77]Mild to Strong [90]Mild to Strong [102]Strong [119]Strong [129,130]
– AcneMild to Moderate [3]Strong [26]Strong [42]Mild to Strong [53,54,55]Moderate [63]Moderate [42]Moderate [90]Mild to Strong [102]Strong [131]
– CellulitisMild to Strong [1,2,4]Strong [42]Moderate to Strong [42]Strong [129,132,130]
– ItchMild to Strong [1,2,3]Strong [42]Mild to Strong [53,54,55]Moderate [62,64]Strong [91]Strong [103]Strong [129]
– Skin infectionsMild to Strong [1,2,3]Mild to Strong [27]Strong [42]Mild to Strong [53,54,55]ModerateStrong [78]Strong [90]Mild to Strong [104]Strong [119]Strong [132, 130, 133]
Anti-inflammatoryStrong [5]Strong [28]Moderate to Strong [43]Strong [56]Strong [65]Strong [79]Strong [92]Strong [105]Strong [120, 121, 122]Strong [134, 135]
   – AcneMild to Moderate [3]Strong [26]Strong [42]Strong [65]Moderate to Strong [42]Moderate [90]Strong [106] 
   – SwellingStrong [5]Strong [28]Strong [118]Strong [57]Strong [65]Strong [79]Strong [92]Strong [105]Strong [120, 121]Strong [134]
AntifungalStrong [5,6]Mild to Strong [29]Moderate to Strong [44]Mild to Moderate [55]Moderate to Strong [42]Moderate [80]Moderate to Strong [93]Moderate to Strong [107]Moderate to Strong [119]Mild to Strong [136, 137, 138, 139]
   – Athlete’s foot (Foot itch)Strong [7,8]Strong [29]Moderate to Strong [45]Moderate to Strong [42]Strong [81,82]Moderate to Strong [94]Strong [108]Strong [140]
   – ItchStrong [9,10]Moderate to Strong [42]Moderate to Strong [42]Moderate [81]Moderate [90]Strong [140]
AntimicrobialMild to Strong [1,2]Strong [30,25,31]Strong [42]Mild to Moderate [53,57,55]Moderate to Strong [57, 42]Strong [83,84]Mild to Strong [90,93]Mild to Strong [102,107]Strong [119,123]Strong [140, 141, 142]
Antioxidant (fights skin damage and aging)Strong [11,2]Strong [32,33,25]Moderate to Strong [46]Strong [58]Mild to Strong [66]Strong [80]Mild to Strong [90]Mild to Strong [109]Strong [124, 125]Strong [142]
AntiparasiticStrong [12,13]Mild to Moderate [34]Strong [47]Mild to Strong [67,68]Strong [80]Mild to Strong [95] Strong [126]Moderate [143]
Antispasmodic (relieves muscle spasms)Strong [14]Mild to Moderate [35]Moderate to Strong [57]Moderate to Strong [69,70]Strong – Muscle spasms – Menstrual cramps – Restless leg syndromeStrong [96] – Intestinal spasms  Strong [110] – Intestinal spasms
Insecticidal (Kills insects)Strong [15]Strong [36]Strong [48]Mild to Moderate [59]Strong [71]Strong [80]Moderate to Strong [97]Strong [144, 145]
Moisturizing (for dry and/or cracked skin)Moderate to Strong [16]Moderate to Strong [49]Strong [72]Moderate to Strong [85]Strong (Very Strong with Frankincense) [98]Strong [111]Strong [127, 128]Strong [146, 147]
Reduces bruisingModerate to Strong [17]StrongStrong [50]Moderate to Strong [60,56]Strong [73]StrongModerateModerate to StrongStrong [148]
Very Strong
Reduces celluliteStrong [18]– Moderate to Strong [42]
Reduces hyperpigmentationModerate to Strong [19]Mild to Moderate [37]Strong [51]Strong [61]Strong [74,63]Moderate [86]Moderate [63]Strong [112]Mild to Strong [149]
Very Strong
Reduces or relieves painStrong [20]Strong [28,38]Strong [56]Strong [75]Moderate to Strong [87]    – Joint pain    – Arthritic pain    – Muscle painModerate [99]Strong [113]
Repels InsectsStrong [21,22,23]Moderate to Strong [39,40]Strong [48]Strong [76]Strong [88]Strong [100] Mild to Moderate [114,115]Strong [144, 145]
Treats crampsStrong [57]Strong [89] –
Wound HealingStrong [24]Strong [41]Moderate to Strong [52]Strong [56]Strong [63]Strong [42]Strong [101]Moderate to Strong [116,117]Strong [150]

Relieve ichthyosis symptoms with CANhaveTODAY!

CANhaveTODAY is committed to bringing a suite of effective products to help alleviate, manage, and combat your ichthyosis symptoms, catering to every care your skin needs. Our products are here to help nourish, moisturize, and protect your skin, so you can experience the relief you’ve been seeking!


What is ichthyosis?

Ichthyosis is a variety of inherited skin disorders presenting with very dry, thickened, and scaly skin that looks similar to fish scales.

What is the best way to manage ichthyosis?

Keeping the skin hydrated is the mainstay of managing ichthyosis symptoms.

Is ichthyosis curable?

There is no known cure for ichthyosis as of present, but there are ways you can do to manage its symptoms.

Which CANhaveTODAY products can help alleviate ichthyosis symptoms?

CANhaveTODAY’s Sparkling Rain moisturizer and the salves Waters Mist, Soothing Juggernaut, and Healing Legends can help soothe and alleviate ichthyosis symptoms.

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