Ichthyosis - Encyclopedia




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ICHTHYOSIS, or Xeroderma, a general thickening of the whole skin and marked accumulation of the epidermic elements, with atrophy of the sebaceous glands, giving rise to a hard, dry, scaly condition, whence the names, from IX6us, fish, and 77,96s, dry, Spµa, skin. This disease generally first appears in infancy, and is probably congenital. It differs in intensity and in distribution, and is generally little amenable to any but palliative remedies, such as the regular application of oily substances. Ichthyosis lingualis ("smokers' tongue"), a variety common in heavy smokers, occurs in opaque white patches on the tongue, gums and roof of the mouth. Cancer occasionally starts from the patches. The affection is obstinate, but may disappear spontaneously.

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