Read about acquired ichthyosis medical facts: what is the definition of acquired ichthyosis, what are the signs and symptoms, medical treatment & how to treat acquired ichthyosis, diagnosis, diseases that are associated with acquired ichthyosis, and related acquired ichthyosis diseases.

Definition: What is "Acquired Ichthyosis"?


Acquired ichthyosis definition: Ichthyosis is an inherited disorder of the skin. This disorder is an extreme type of ichthyosis which can afflict both sexes all over the world. When this disease is acquired because of a causal disorder, although, it is very rare; it is still not known how this occurs. But there are studies that claim that it can result from mutations of the genes. The mutated genes can be passed from one generation onto the next. The mutation is believed to cause the abnormality in the skin's standard lifecycle. Normal people shed dead skin cells unnoticed but patients of ichthyosis produce new cells of the skin at a rate where their rate of shedding could not cope. This way, there is a dead skin cell buildup & the patient's skin would then appear to be dry or scaly. Acquired ichthyosis often occurs in adulthood. It could occur before or after a systemic condition diagnosis.

Symptoms & Signs

Acquired ichthyosis also known as ichthyyosis acquisita has the same characteristics as hereditary ichthyosis or ichthyosis vulgaris. These signs include: dry or rough areas of the skin; scales on the skin (it may appear as small scales or it could also be thick scales); darker people with darker scales; a scaly & dry scalp; hyperkeratosis or overgrowth of skin on soles & palms; cracks on skin creases during the dry season; follicular hyperkeratosis (keratosis pilaris) on the neck's side; keratosis pilaris on the back portion of the upper arms, thighs or buttocks. It can develop in individuals with certain kinds of malignant illness & infectious conditions, also in vitamin A & dietary deficiencies, in patients who are undergoing dialysis, or sometimes for no apparent reasons.

Treatment: How to Treat "Acquired Ichthyosis"?

The severity of the condition is often dependent on underlying conditions that are present. As the systemic form is treated, the condition often improves. The part of the skin that is affected by acquired ichthyosis undergoes hydration together with lotions that contain alpha-hydroxy acid ammonium lactate). The use of retinoid creams (tretinoin) can also be administered.


The diagnosis of this illness is often based on the symptoms that are seen by the physician on the patient's skin. Also, a skin biopsy could be taken & observed under the microscope. The biopsy would be able to point out the changes on the disorder's characteristics.

Diseases that are Associated with Acquired Ichthyosis

The systemic diseases that are often linked with acquired ichthyosis are: cancers (e.g. mycosis, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer Hodgkin's disease, hyperparathyroidism, nutritional diseases, acute renal failure & HIV infection; sarcoidosis, thyroid disease, leprosy, autoimmune diseases such as dermatymyositis or systemic lupus erythematosus; this could also manifest after a transplant of the bone marrow. There are also some medications that have been associated with acquired ichthyosis such as triparanol, nicotinic acid, dixyrazine, clofazimine, cimetidine & butyrophenones.

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