Fish Scale Disease: How Does This Skin Disorder Effect You?

Fish Scale Disease is a skin disorder that can be caused because of many factors, know symptoms and treatment method for the same.  

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: Apr 05, 2022Updated at: Apr 05, 2022
Fish Scale Disease: How Does This Skin Disorder Effect You?

In winters, you usually have dryness and sometimes your dry skin also comes out. This is quite normal and a general process but if it happens to a particularly bigger area or part of the body, then it can be a cause of concern. Fish scale disease is a skin disorder that occurs in similar form as dry skin. Children are more vulnerable to fish scale disease because they tend to get dry or dead skin more often. In this skin disease, the dead skin accumulates over other normal skin. This does not cause any major harm to the body but it can be very discomforting and lead to further skin issues that can be problematic.  

What is Fish Scale Disease? 

We spoke to Dr. Subhash Tiwari, Senior Dermatologist, BNK Hospital, Lucknow to know more about fish scale disease. He explained that this condition occurs when the dead skin does not shed and the cells remain on the skin for a long period of time. This leads to a fish scale type of pattern on the entire surface of the skin which is very flaky and dry. It does not go away even after putting moisturizers. These patches on the skin can be limited to a particular space of they might cover large surface in which they can be called severe case of fish scale disease. The official name of this disease is ichthyosis vulgaris. In majority of these condition, it affects back, arms, abdomen and legs of the person.  


Symptoms of Fish Scale Disease 

This disease becomes worse in the winter season when the dryness increases and results to more dead cells. Due to dryness in the air and cold weather things can get worse. But this can also be true for spending time in the air conditioner. Our expert says that staying in the AC for longer period of time over few days can also cause same type of effect on the skin. Mostly people get deep, painful cracks that develop over the period of time and can affect your palms and sole of the feet.  

  • Flaky scalp 
  • Itchy skin 
  • Polygon shaped scales on the skin 
  • Severely dry skin 
  • Thickened skin 

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Causes of Fish Scale Diseases 

Fish cell diseases are present from the birth or after a few years after the childbirth. In typical cases, this disease disappears in the early childhood itself. But some people have symptoms again, and for others it can return during adulthood as well. This skin condition even has genetic effect on the transmission. Fish scale disease also follows an autosomal dominant pattern. This means that only one parent needs to possess the mutated gene in order to pass it on to its children. This can be one of the most common inherited skin disorders at exist.  

Adults have fish scale disease in rare cases. Ichthyosis vulgaris can be caused even if parents of the child or individual do not carry an defective gene. Some people having fish cell disease in the adulthood can even have it along with some very severe complications such as the following- 

  • Cancer 
  • Kidney failure 
  • Thyroid disease 
  • Side-effect of certain types of medications 
  • Atopic dermatitis  
  • Keratosis pilaris 
  • Atopic dermatitis 
  • Severe forms of eczema 


Fish Scale disease can actually affect your skin in a way that you may not even feel like touching it. White of red skin bumps can cause number of skin problems and may look like normal acnes. All of this can lead the person to fish scale disease and cause skin problems for the long-term period.  

Treatment for Ichthyosis Vulgaris 

Unfortunately, there is no as such treatment for this disease. However, the symptoms can be managed by the use of some home treatments alone. 

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Home treatments 

1. Rubbing a loofa over your skin when you take bath can actually help to remove the excess skin. Even pumice stones can do the job effectively.  

2. The other method is to apply moisturizer on the skin at regular interval or apply propylene glycol in your usual cream. This chemical can actually help your skin moist. Using products such as urea, lactic, salicylic acid can even help you with shedding of dead cells.  

3. To prevent this condition or making things better, you can even try having a humidifier in your home that can add moisture into the air. This will help to prevent your skin in getting worse condition of fish scale disease.  

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