Self-help measures may help improve the appearance and feel of damaged skin. Consider these suggestions:
Sept. 25, 2015
- Take long soaking baths to soften the skin. Use mild soap. Rub dampened skin lightly with a rough-textured sponge (loofa) or a pumice stone to help remove the scales.
- After showering or bathing, gently pat or blot the skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on the skin.
- Apply moisturizer or lubricating cream while the skin is still moist from bathing. Choose a moisturizer with urea or propylene glycol — chemicals that help keep skin moist. Petroleum jelly is another good choice.
- Apply an over-the-counter product that contains urea, lactic acid or a low concentration of salicylic acid twice daily. Mild acidic compounds help skin shed its dead skin cells. Urea helps bind moisture to skin.
- Use a portable home humidifier or one attached to your furnace to add moisture to the air inside your home.
- Ichthyosis vulgaris. National Organization for Rare Disorders. https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/ichthyosis-vulgaris/. Accessed Aug. 14, 2015.
- Thyssen JP, et al. Ichthyosis vulgaris: The filaggrin mutation disease. British Journal of Dermatology. 2013;168:1155.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. The ichthyoses. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Aug. 14, 2015.
- Choate K. Overview of the inherited ichthyoses. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 14, 2015.
- Ichthyosis. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic-disorders/cornification-disorders/ichthyosis#v960749. Accessed Aug. 14, 2015.