A seven month old baby with Ichthyosis passed away last weekend. Such a terrible tragedy. My thoughts are with his family and the Ichthyosis community. Rest in peace little one.
This tragedy is a reminder that skin conditions are not just cosmetic. Many people think that a skin condition affects appearance only, and that its limited to small parts of the body, and that it will clear with diet and lifestyle change. But for people with Ichthyosis or other serious skin conditions, skin can become painful and affect other parts of the body when the skin is inflamed or infected.
The skin is a vital organ – healthy skin serves as temperature control and a barrier to infection. A skin infection can transfer to the blood stream – I’ve been reminded of that when I’ve been sick in hospital. (And when I’ve gone to Emergency with extremely sore skin, there’s always some confusion with the triage nurse about how how severe it is, because it’s skin.)
It’s important that people with Ichthyosis maintain their self care to prevent and treat infections – the shower/bath routine, application of cream and antibiotics, and hospital treatment, plus limiting contact with those who have communicable illnesses.
Never take the skin for granted, and never assume a skin condition is just cosmetic. It’s such an important organ for survival.
For information about all types of Ichthyosis, self care and to donate to help families like the one experiencing this loss, visit the Foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types.