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Juvenile RA and Ichthyosis

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Since I was born, I have had dry skin. I'm a 17 year old male. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthiritus at the age of 15. I am on medication called methotrexate and humira injection.

I live a normal teenage lifestyle. I play lots of sport and have a good social life. I have always been self-conscious of my skin, but the last year has been very tough as it makes me very depressed. I constantly look to see how dry my skin is, I stay awake late at night thinking about it and my confidence has gone way down. Whenever I asked my doctor or dermatologist about my dry skin, they don't suggest anything but moisturising.

I have always moisturised my skin. I have been trying to research online. I came across the genetic disorder: lamellar ichythosis. I want to find out if this is the reason behind my skin. These are all the things I have wrong with me and possible symptoms...

-Dry,scaly, tight skin all over body
-Extremely wrinkled hands
-Extremely hard dry feet
-Dry scalp
-Stiff hands
-Poor circulation to feet and hands in cold weather.
-Overheating (when exercising I get an extremely red face) also at random times during day my face goes bright red
-Skin falling off when rubbed against. Also dead skin on bed sheet when I wake up. Dead skin on clothing that is in contact with skin.
-Getting loads of grey hairs which I pluck out.
-Skin very pale without moisturiser.
-I often get stuffy/runny nose.
-Skin is better in summer, but still very dry.
-I have always gotten very run down at times and get lots of cold sores.

May I also add that I have two brothers and two sisters. One of my brothers and one of my sisters have the exact same skin as me. The other brother and sister have normal skin.

I always thought that I could get over the arthiritus, but I just cannot come to the same terms with my skin. It really effects me! I just want to have a solid answer as to why my skin is like this so I can get motivated to making it better. Thanks!

Category: Dermatologist

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Category: Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon
 31 Doctors Online


Thanks for posting your query at I have gone through it in detail and I can understand your concern.

You are indeed facing a very distressing condition. It is surely very uncomfortable to experience such a dry skin.

Moisturizing is surely the most important tool in the treatment of ichthyosis. However, since you have very severe ichythosis, oral intake of a medication called acitretin will prove useful. It is a medicine which acts on the keratinization of skin, thereby normalizing it and in turn helping in treating the dryness of skin. You will need a prescription and constant monitoring by your doctor for acitretin.

Hope this helps, please feel free to discuss further.

Take care

Patient replied :

Is this a common problem amongst guys like me? Is this a genetic thing?

Thanks for your reply.

This is not a common thing amongst any age group. It is a genetic condition.

Hence the treatment of this will involve a long term application of a moisturizer atleast thrice a day, preferably while the skin is still wet so that the moisture is trapped in the body. Taking oat meal baths will also help in reducing the dryness.

Acitretin is a medication which can have side effects and hence it needs to be monitored and can be taken only after a thorough evaluation by your doctor.

Hope this helps. Take care

Dr. Kruti Jobanputra Banodkar
Category: Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon
Diploma in Dermatology - Royal College Of Physicians & Surgeons Of Glasgow, UK , 2010
Residency - DNB, Dermatology -  K.J Somaiya Hospital, Mumbai, 2009
Medical School & Internship - MBBS - Dr. D . Y . Patil Medical College, Mumbai, 2004
Dr. Kruti Jobanputra Banodkar and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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