Maureen Neville
Senior Director, Marketing & Communications

The Foundation for Ichthyosis & Related Skin Types Offers Tips for Skin Care During Winter Months

COLMAR, PA (October 5, 2016) – Living with ichthyosis, a genetic skin disorder that is characterized by dry, scaling skin, can be difficult for those affected, but even more so in the winter months.   Cold winter air, with its associated low humidity, can worsen the dry skin of persons with all forms of ichthyosis, which often results in increased discomfort.

Although the condition can be painful, according to the Foundation for Ichthyosis & Related Skin Types (FIRST), there are some steps that patients can take to alleviate symptoms.

  • Moisturize as much as possible:  Although it won’t cure the dryness, it can alleviate symptoms and help prevent additional scaling, cracking and build up of skin.  FIRST suggests using lanolin creams and products containing urea, lactic acid and other alpha hydroxy acids.
  • Know when to moisturize:  Apply lotions and creams to wet skin to trap in the moisture (typically within 3 to 5 minutes of showering and/or bathing.)
  • Avoid hot baths:  Although a hot bath feels great after being in the cold, keep in mind that the heat of a hot shower or bath actually breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin, which can lead to a loss of moisture.  A lukewarm bath with oatmeal or baking soda can help relieve itchiness, as well.
  • Try to resist scratching:  Scratching can cause a thickening of the skin that can eventually lead to infection.

“For people affected with ichthyosis, the cold days of winter bring more than just a rosy glow to the cheeks, it also brings an increased uncomfortable dryness to the skin, face, hands and other extremities,” said Jean Pickford, Chief Executive Officer of FIRST.  “The winter makes your skin dry out at a much quicker rate, and once you turn the heat on indoors, it can dry out even quicker.”

According to FIRST, each year, more than 16,000 babies are born with some form of ichthyosis.  This disease affects people of all ages, races and gender. The disease usually presents at birth, or within the first year, and continues to affect the patient throughout their lifetime. 

About the Foundation for Ichthyosis & Related Skin Types, Inc.®
The Foundation for Ichthyosis & Related Skin Types, Inc.® (FIRST) is the only nonprofit foundation in the United States dedicated to families affected by the rare skin disorder ichthyosis.  FIRST provides information via printed publications, on our website,, and a quarterly newsletter, Ichthyosis Focus, sent to its 3,000 members.  For more information, call toll-free at 1.800.545.3286.



Share This Page: