Ichthyosis: A Guide for Teachers - Introduction

Ichthyosis: A Guide for Teachers & School Personnel was originally published in 1994 and was revised in 2004.  The funds to reprint the second edition were provided by a grant from Sovereign Bank.

Originally Written by
Deborah B. Vilas

Second Edition Reviewed by
Denise Benedetto
Elizabeth A. Gray
Justine O. Seman, LCSW

Second Edition Medical Editors
Sherri Bale, Ph.D.
Betsy Bates Freed
Moise Levy, MD
Leonard Milstone, MD
Mary Williams, MD

General Editor
Jean R. Pickford


This publication is intended to help meet the needs of a child in the classroom with a rare skin disease called ichthyosis. The book is designed to offer guidance for addressing specific physical, developmental, and psychosocial challenges which the student with ichthyosis may face. Whether the child is in pre-school, elementary, junior high or high school, this book can help you create a more supportive environment for this student.

In addition to defining and explaining ichthyosis, this book is intended to help teachers and other school officials better understand the special care and treatment needs of the student with ichthyosis needs, which in many cases, the student will be addressing at school. It also identifies certain cautions and warning signs that both teacher and student (depending on the student’s age and capabilities) must be aware of in order to avoid potentially serious medical situations.

All children need opportunities to play together, be creative, develop self-esteem, master new skills, and express themselves. Because teachers help to facilitate these needs daily, they must see the child with ichthyosis as, above all, a child. How children with ichthyosis are treated and how they treat others will shape all their lives.  All children gain by forging friendships and completing tasks.  Acceptance, encouragement, and appropriate interventions can make an enormous difference in the child’s success in the schoolroom and on the playground.


 This information is provided as a service to patients and parents of patients who have ichthyosis.  It is not intended to supplement appropriate medical care, but instead to complement that care with guidance in practical issues facing patients and parents.  Neither the Foundation for Ichthyosis & Related Skin Types, Inc.TM, Publications Review Committee, Medical & Scientific Advisory Board, nor Foundation staff and officials endorse any treatments or products reported in this booklet.  All issues pertaining to the care and treatment of patients with ichthyosis should be discussed with a dermatologist experienced in the treatment of this complex disease.


Next Chapter:  What is Ichthyosis



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