ichthyosis fetalis

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Related to ichthyosis fetalis: Harlequin type ichthyosis

ich·thy·o·sis fe·ta·lis

1. Synonym(s): harlequin fetus
2. recessive condition in Holstein and Norwegian red poll cattle resembling harlequin fetus in humans.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

ichthyosis fetalis

(1) Harlequin-type ichthyosis. 
(2) Autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis, see there.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


(ik?the-o'sis) [? + osis, condition]
A condition in which the skin is dry and scaly, resembling fish skin. Because ichthyosis is so easily recognized, a variety of diseases have been called by this name.

A mild nonhereditary form is called winter itch. This is often seen on the legs of older patients, esp. during dry weather during the winter months. It may be more prevalent in those who bathe frequently, thus causing excessive dryness of the skin.


The application of lotions or ointments that soften and soothe the skin provide symptomatic relief for all forms of ichthyosis. Dry scales can be removed by applying a combination of 6% salicylic acid in a gel containing propylene glycol, ethyl alcohol, hydroxy propylene cellulose, and water. This is most effective when applied to moistened skin at night and covered with an occlusive dressing. Soaps should be used sparingly.

ichthyosis congenita

Harlequin fetus.

ichthyosis fetalis

Harlequin fetus.

ichthyosis hystrix

Linear nevus. The skin contains bands or lines of rough, thick, warty, hypertrophic papillary growths.

lamellar ichthyosis of newborn

A rare form of inherited ichthyosis with lamellar desquamation.

ichthyosis vulgaris

A hereditary form of ichthyosis that includes two genetically distinct types. Dominant ichthyosis vulgaris is produced by an autosomal dominant gene. Characterized by dry, rough, scaly skin, it is not present at birth and is usually noticed between the ages of one and four. Many cases improve in later life.

The second type is sex-linked ichthyosis vulgaris. It is present only in males and is transmitted by the female as a recessive gene. Onset of scattered large brown scales is seen in early infancy. The scalp may be involved, but the face is spared except for the sides and in front of the ear. There is little tendency for this condition to improve with age.

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