Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Ichthyosis vulgaris doesn't have a known cure, so the goal of treatment is to manage the condition.


Treatments may include:

  • Exfoliating creams and ointments. Prescription creams and ointments containing alpha hydroxy acids, such as lactic acid and glycolic acid, help control scaling and increase skin moisture.
  • Oral medication. Your doctor may prescribe vitamin A-derived medications called retinoids to reduce the production of skin cells. Side effects from the medication may include eye and lip inflammation, bone spurs and hair loss.

    Retinoids may cause birth defects. Women considering retinoid therapy should be sure they are not pregnant before starting the medication — and use effective birth control while taking retinoids.

Sept. 25, 2015