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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Lamellar ichthyosis


Other Names for this Disease
  • Classic lamellar ichthyosis
  • Congenital lamellar ichthyosis
  • LI
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

I have a daughter with this skin condition. I would like to know if there is a cure for it yet, and what sort of treatments are best. I heard about the Garra rufa "skin eating fish" being used in some places to treat certain skin disorders; will using this fish work for this type of skin disorder?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

How might lamellar ichthyosis be treated?

Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for lamellar ichthyosis. Management is generally supportive and based on the signs and symptoms present in each person. For infants, providing a moist environment in an isolette (incubator) and preventing infection are most important. Petrolatum-based creams and ointments are used to keep the skin soft, supple, and hydrated. As affected children become older, treatments to promote peeling and thinning of the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin cells) are often recommended. This may include humidification with long baths, lubrication, and keratolytic agents such as alpha-hydroxy acid or urea preparations.[1]

For people with ectropion (turning out of the eyelid), lubrication of the cornea with artificial tears or prescription ointments is helpful to prevent the cornea from drying out. Topical or oral retinoid therapy may be recommended for those with severe skin involvement; however, these medications can be associated with undesired side effects and are, therefore, generally prescribed with caution.[1]
Last updated: 2/3/2016

What information is available about the Garra rufa fish being used as a treatment for ichthyosis?

A thorough search of the available medical literature does not yield specific information about the use of ichthyotherapy (therapy with the Garra rufa fish) for treatment of ichthyosis. According to a recent paper, the Garra rufa fish is currently only used for aesthetic purposes and as an alternative medical treatment in patients with psoriasis.[2]
Last updated: 2/3/2016

References
  • Gabriele Richard, MD, FACMG and Sherri J Bale, PhD, FACMG. Autosomal Recessive Congenital Ichthyosis. GeneReviews. August 2014; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1420/.
  • Sirri R, Zaccaroni A, Di Biase A, Mordenti O, Stancampiano L, Sarli G, Mandrioli L. Effects of two water disinfectants (chloramine T and peracetic acid) on the epidermis and gills of Garra rufa used in human ichthyotherapy. Pol J Vet Sci. 2013; 16(3):453-461.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Classic lamellar ichthyosis
  • Congenital lamellar ichthyosis
  • LI
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.