Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Although self-help measures won't cure ichthyosis, they may help improve the appearance and feel of damaged skin. Consider these measures to help:

  • Take long soaking baths to soften the skin. Then use a rough-textured sponge, such as a loofa sponge, to remove the thickened scales.
  • Choose mild soaps that have added oils and fats. Avoid strongly scented and antibacterial soaps, which are especially harsh on dry skin.
  • After showering or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on the skin.
  • Apply moisturizer or lubricating cream while your skin is still moist from bathing. Choose a moisturizer that contains urea or propylene glycol — chemicals that help keep your skin moist. Petroleum jelly is another good choice. Cover the treated areas with plastic wrap to keep the petroleum jelly from staining clothes and furniture.
  • Apply an over-the-counter product that contains urea, lactic acid or a low concentration of salicylic acid twice daily. Mild acidic compounds help your skin shed its dead skin cells. Urea helps bind moisture to your skin.
  • Use a portable home humidifier or one attached to your furnace to add moisture to the air inside your home.
Oct. 20, 2012