What is Ichthyosis?

For those of you with dry skin, you have likely perused online for hours on end trying to diagnose your condition. Unfortunately, there are several conditions featuring dry skin – psoriasis, eczema, xerosis, and ichthyosis, among many others, which often have numerous subtypes. Today, we wanted to tell you a little about ichthyosis, and how we at ViaBuff can help you out.

What is Ichthyosis?

Ichthyosis is a general term that describes several disorders characterized by a buildup of epidermal cells that may lead to lesions resembling fish scales (ichthys is the Greek word for fish). Ichthyosis typically worsens during colder months when the air is drier, whereas the condition improves during hotter, more humid months. Ichthyosis vulgaris is the most common form of the condition, with 95% of ichthyosis sufferers having this form of the disorder. More rare forms of the condition include lamellar ichtyhosis, in which sufferers experience large plate-like scales, whereas those with epidermolytic icthyosis typically have thick, spiny dark lesions and skin that is more blister-prone after being traumatized. Unlike other skin conditions, ichthyosis can appear in people of all races and genders, and appears in those living in any region of the world (American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, British Skin Foundation).

Ichthyosis can either be a genetic or acquired condition. Genetic instances of ichthyosis are present at birth and remain for the duration of one’s life. Depending on one’s form of ichthyosis, allergic reactions, certain skin conditions (such as atopic eczema), and infections and diseases may also induce or aggravate the condition (such as HIV or sarcoidosis) (NHS Choices). While there is no known cure for ichthyosis, the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology notes that daily moisturization and exfoliation can go a long way in alleviating suffering and symptoms. In severe cases, oral retinoids and antibiotic therapies may be prescribed. If you believe that you may have ichthyosis or are considering altering your ichthyosis-oriented skincare routine, it is imperative that you consult with your dermatologist immediately, as ichthyosis may be life-threatening in certain instances.

How Can ViaBuff Help?


We at ViaBuff love to help those with skin needs that often are ignored by most other skincare companies. That’s why we designed our ViaBuff Level 3 Exfoliating Buff and ViaBuff Level 4 Exfoliating Buff to exfoliate dry and extra dry skin, respectively. Our cruelty-free and dermatologist-tested buffs limit water retention so that your buffs won’t become soggy and less effective. Our buffs’ abrasive yet gentle open-cell polyurethane design ensures that dry skin cells are whisked away while healthy skin is left intact. All of the ViaBuff buffs also limit product absorption, so that your exfoliating serums will stay on the surface of your buff and be massaged into your skin. Best of all, our buffs last an average of 90 days, which is three times longer than the shelf life of your average loofah or puff.

Bottom Line

Ichthyosis is the general name for a family of disorders characterized by thickened, dry scaly skin. While there is no known cure for ichthyosis, daily moisturization and exfoliation are believed to greatly alleviate suffering. For the best results, you may want to pair a powerful exfoliating serum with our ViaBuff Level 3 or 4 Exfoliating Buffs, which were designed to slough away dead skin cell buildup on dry and very dry skin, respectively.

Comments 2

  1. I would love to know how/where the author of this article acquired their information on Ichthyosis? My son has EI, and some of your information is not correct at all. While I do agree with exfoliating, etc. Someone who has Ichthyosis should not use any “powerful” sort of substance. Could you please enlighten me on what the ingredients consist of?

    1. Post

      Dear Lauren: Thank you for your interest in ViaBuff! You are correct in saying that those with ichthyosis should be more cautious as to what ingredients they use on their skin, owing to heightened skin sensitivity. However, by saying that those with ichthyosis should use a “powerful” exfoliating serum, we simply meant one that could sufficiently remove scales and dead skin cell buildup while simultaneously encouraging healthy skin functioning. As I am sure that you know, those with ichthyosis frequently suffer from itching and sweating due to skin scaling. A “powerful” exfoliating serum is simply one that can keep up with the body’s near-incessant production of scaly and flaky skin. We hope that your question has been answered to your satisfaction. If you have any more questions, please let us know

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