A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Ichthyosis
I had a question the other day about ichthyosis.
Ichthyosis is an inherited skin disorder where dead skin cells accumulate in thick, dry scales on your skin’s surface.
The scales of ichthyosis, sometimes called fish scale disease or fish skin disease, can be present at birth, but usually appear during early childhood.
Sometimes, mild cases of ichthyosis go undiagnosed because they’re mistaken for extremely dry skin.
Most cases of ichthyosis are mild, but some are severe.
Ichthyosis slows your skin’s natural shedding process.
This causes chronic, excessive buildup of the protein in the upper layer of your skin.
>Dry, scaly skin
>Tile-like, small scales
>Scales colored white, dirty gray or brown — with darker colored scales typically on darker skin
>Deep, painful cracks in your skin
The scales usually appear on your elbows and lower legs and may be especially thick and dark over your shins.
Symptoms usually worsen or are more pronounced in cold, dry environments and tend to improve or even resolve in warm, humid environments.
There’s no known cure for ichthyosis, so the goal of treatment is to manage the condition.
To deal with ichthyosis it’s beneficial to:
*Drink at least 2 quarts of purified water daily as it hydrates body and brain cells and flushes toxins.
*Use aloe vera topically because it has excellent soothing, healing, and moisturizing properties. It also helps to slough off dead skin cells.
*Calendula and comfrey have skin-softening properties. They can be used in a facial sauna or to make herbal or floral waters. Comfrey also reduces redness and soothes irritated skin.
*Spray an herbal or floral water mist (especially lavender) on your skin throughout the day to replenish lost moisture. You can purchase lavender water already made, or you can make your own by adding a few drops of essential oil to 4 ounces of distilled water, or by making an infusion of fresh lavender leaves and flowers.
*Eat a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds, and nuts. Eat quality protein from vegetable sources. Increase your intake of raw food.
*Eat foods high in sulfur, which helps to keep your skin smooth and youthful. Good sources include garlic, onions, eggs, and asparagus.
*Consume plenty of yellow and orange vegetables. These are high in beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A.
*Avoid fried foods, animal fats, and heat-processed vegetable oils like those sold in supermarkets. Use cold-pressed oils only. Beware of any oils that have been subjected to heat, whether in processing or cooking. Heating oils leads to the production of free radicals, which have a destructive effect on your skin.
*Don’t drink soft drinks or eat sugar, chocolate, potato chips, or other junk foods.
*Avoid alcohol and caffeine. These substances have a diuretic effect, causing your body (including your skin cells) to lose fluids and essential minerals.
*Use a humidifier to humidify your environment, especially in winter.
*Eliminate toxic personal care, laundry and cleaning products.
*Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. Smoking has a harmful effect on your skin.
*Decrease excessive sun exposure.
*Decrease exposure to chlorinated shower/bath water, pools and hot tubs.
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