What causes the scaly skin on my calves? (photo)Skin, Hair & Nails
My outer calves (shown in photos) have scaly, cracking, and flaky skin. Is this ichthyosis, eczema, or sensitive skin?
Hello thank you for your question and photo about a common skin condition known as ichthyosis vulgaris. Individuals develop a “fish scale” like appearance on their arms and legs.
This condition sometimes run in families and is due to a defect in an important protein in the skin which is important in maintaining good skin barrier function. About 50% with ichthyosis will also develop eczema so it is associated with sensitive skin conditions.
Treatment would include using a gentle soap free cleanser and regular moisturisers which contain salicylic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acids or urea to help restore the skin barrier. With diligent use of the appropriate skincare products, your skin can be restored to a normal appearance. Hope this helps!
Dr Stephanie Ho, Dermatologist
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