Hello Kathi, Gavin et al,
That's great that there's a pediatric dermatologist in your area. If that derm isn't aware of FIRST, you might want to give them the web site address and phone number too, as they can hook the doctor up with information resources just as they can do for you.
Like Les, I'll let a mom answer your question about ear cleaning, but I can say that most likely it will involve using a product called "Debrox" and cotton swabs.
While ichthyosis of any type never goes away, for some of us it improves with age, and for most of us, there are a lot of medicated and non-medicated moisturizers that will really help Gavin look and feel much better.
There are even a few drugs, called retinoids, that might help Gavin, however the general consensus amongst most folks on this bulletin board is that the person with ichthyosis be allowed to choose whether or not to take the drug, and at minimum the person should be past puberty.
When you have got the time, I would sit down and go through this entire forum. There is A LOT of information here. If you can't find something you want to know about, or you don't understand what was discussed, by all means, bring it up. We're more than happy to review information for you that's already been covered but you might get information faster (rather than having to wait for one of us to respond) if you look over the old threads. Also, no question is too silly, insignificant, or stupid! If you have a question, chances are someone else that either is or will someday read this board will want the same information.
FIRST can also help you find someone in your general geographic area who has ichthyosis or is the close relative (such as a parent) of someone who has ichthyosis as a type of "mentor." Whenever possible, they try to match up folks dealing with the same type of ichthyosis.
Most of all, I want to reassure you that while the path the whole family and not just Gavin takes through life might have a few unexpected twists due to his ichthyosis, he should be just fine. He has as much potential as any other child to live a happy, healthy, loving and productive life.
There are many adults on this board with ichthyosis of varying types, many teens, and parents of younger ones. We're all here to support and encourage one another, and that includes you.
I am female, and was born in 1972 with Lamellar Ichthyosis.