What's New in Skincare?

by Denise Gass

Can you cool down just by using a cream? Can a pill make you less susceptible to sun damage?

New products claim so.

Last month, FIRST staff and Medical and Scientific Advisory Board met for the American Academy of Dermatology’s annual meeting. The event hosted 8,000+ dermatologists for educational, organizational, and commercial meetings, seminars, and more. There were more than 320 commercial brands in the exhibit hall, and I wanted to highlight a few of the products I found that were intriguing for people with ichthyosis and related skin types.

Disclaimer: ichthyosis is highly variable among individuals and your experience might vary. FIRST does not officially endorse any of these, but here staff writer Denise Gass seeks to share information and personal experiences for your consideration.

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Rescue Relief Treatment Gel Cream

This product caught my eye right away, with promises of cooling skin by a few degrees. They even had an infrared heat camera there and you could see your skin temperature change. Surprisingly, this is not menthol or camphor, which can be a bit too intense at times, especially for kids. I don’t think this would keep you from overheating, but it certainly feels good on your skin. I will keep this on hand for rashes and when I get in a hot car this summer. I would describe the intensity of the cooling sensation to be on-par with placing a cool wet towel on the skin.

Visit Aveeno Website



Samples of Heliocare were in welcome bags at previous FIRST National Conferences, so I was interested in learning more. While this product will not replace your sunscreen, if you are spending a lot of time outside during peak UV hours, it might be worth your consideration since people with ichthyosis are more sensitive to the sun in general. Heliocare is a once-daily supplement capsule that features a unique plant extract “to help your skin protect itself and maintain its resilience and youthful appearance.”

Visit Heliocare Website


Elta MD

Do you ever feel like it’s impossible to get all your sunscreen off? If you are applying an appropriate amount every hour or so, it can really pile up. Especially if you are using a mineral formula! This cleanser uses oil in the formulation and that allows it to bind with your sunscreen to lift it off. Best of all…you don’t really need water, making it perfect to use on long days out in nature! I have used it with water as a regular soap and it works very well in taking off the sunscreen buildup. I’ve also had success without water and just a washcloth. Note: this brand is mostly available at dermatologists’ offices, but can be found on Amazon under the verified Elta MD seller.


Visit Elta MD Website


Eucerin Roughness Relief

Urea is a helpful ingredient for many people with ichthyosis—it has exfoliating properties but it also keeps skin pliable, which is great for thickened palms and soles. Eucerin Advanced Repair formulations have 5% urea and Eucerin Roughness Relief formulations have 10% urea. If you are curious to try urea, I would start with one of these, and apply at night after washing and exfoliating using a pumice stone on the thick and rough skin. Sleeping with socks and/or surgical gloves will intensify the effect.

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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 FIRST, its Board of Directors, Medical & Scientific Advisory Board, Board of Medical Editors, nor Foundation staff and officials endorse any treatments or products reported here.  All issues pertaining to the care of patients with ichthyosis should be discussed with a dermatologist experienced in the treatment of their skin disorder.

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