The Disease Ichthyosis: The causes, effects, and treatments.

Essay by iamgeniusHigh School, 10th gradeA+, March 2003

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The disease I was issued to research is called ichthyosis. There are several of types of ichthyosis such as Lamellar ichthyosis, Congenital ichthyosiform Erythroderma (CIE), Epidermolytic Hyperkeratosis (EH or EHK), X-Linked ichthyosis. The most common form, however, is ichthyosis simplex, more commonly know as ichthyosis vulgaris. Fortunately, ichthyosis vulgaris occurs once every two hundred and fifty births and is the mildest form of ichthyosis.

Ichthyosis is a rare skin disorder caused by either a mutation of a gene or is passed though inheritance. It is not contagious and there is no way to prevent it. Because it is a gene disorder, it is a lifetime disease. For normal people the body renews the skin surface by making new cells and getting rid of the old ones. A person with ichthyosis, however, has an upset balance of either making too many new cells or not being able to get rid of the old cells fast enough.

This causes something that may resemble fish scales. That is why ichthyosis stands for "fish disease" in Greek.

A person with Ichthyosis may have trouble fighting infections because they are able to get though the cracks in the skin created by the disorder. People with this disorder have trouble with temperature changes. Overheating is the biggest problem. Exercising, hot weather, and anything else that would cause you to sweat is a problem. Because people with ichthyosis have skin that is nearly waterproof, they are unable to sweat, which would cool down a normal person. Sufferers of ichthyosis have increased waxy build up in their ears causing hearing difficulties. Some may suffer from body order because bacteria are able to get under spaces in the skin cells. Some may have itching. More than half of people who have ichthyosis also have allergic problems, such...