I posted under the "general discussion" board about how I am beginning to heal my icthyosis in spite of being diagnosed since birth and being told that there is no cure. I have an open invitation out there for anyone to ask questions, but I am just bubbling over with a desire to help others, if possible, with their healing. One of the first topics I researched was the retinoids and why they help ich patients. I did not want to take pharmecuetical drugs that would potentially do more harm than good. What I learned was that retinoids help skin issues because they are very high in Vitamin A. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retinoid
) That led me to ask how I could get more vitamin A in my diet. Weston A Price states that cod liver oil could give us the vitamin A through natural means without the harmful side effects. "Severe acne is found in those with low levels of vitamin A in the blood.3 The standard conventional treatment for acne is Accutane, a synthetic form of vitamin A, but cod liver oil and other vitamin A-rich foods can work just as well, without the side effects, such as joint pain, hair loss, low energy, depression and aggressive behavior." (- See more at: http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/skin-deep/#sthash.6jfOta7S.dpuf
) That led me to search cod liver oil. According to the USDA, cod liver oil has 13,600 IU of Vitamin A per tablespoon. (http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/725?manu=&fgcd=
) Weston A Price, quoting a letter from dermatologists written to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, also stated that ichthyosis patients responded positively, with much decrease in flaking, to cod liver oil. “We have noticed improvement in three patients who had lamellar ichthyosis [scaly skin, in which layers fall off, considered a genetic condition] and in one each with Darier’s disease [dark, crusty patches on the skin, considered hereditary] and pityriasis rubra pilaris treated with two tablespoons of cod liver oil daily. The improvement was slow, taking weeks or months, as has been reported with oral retinoids, but these patients had been previously refractory to other forms of conventional therapy. The condition of three of the patients deteriorated when therapy was discontinued and then improved when the therapy was reinstituted. . . .” (- See more at: http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/skin-deep/#sthash.6jfOta7S.dpuf
) I learned vitamin A also needs Vitamin D to work most efficiently, (http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/update-on-vitamins-a-and-d/
) and I needed vitamin D anyway due to the long winters in Wisconsin. Being kind of hesitant about the high doses of vitamin A, I began taking only one teaspoon of cod liver oil per day (I am kind of little, only 110 pounds). After several weeks, I began increasing the amount a half a teaspoon every couple of weeks. When I got to one Tablespoon per day, I began to have noticeable improvement in my skin. This is not the same as the healing that I am experiencing now, but it definitely improved the symptom of my dry flaky skin. If you have been tempted to take retinoids, but wonder if the benefit is worth the cost, I suggest you research cod liver oil to get similar benefits. There are many different kinds out there. I wanted to stay as close to real food as possible, so I chose one that was extracted without heat to maintain the integrity of the product. I suppose others may help as well, but synthetic vitamins are often added in to supplement what is lost during extraction. I wanted to stay away from synthetic as much as possible. Surely, cod liver oil is not a cure, but it has done a good job at minimizing my symptoms. I believe our dry, flaky skin is not our problem; it is a only a symptom of a deeper root problem. If you want to learn more about my journey to healing my whole body, including my skin, please ask. I don't claim to be an authority, so please use your own judgement as I am not prescribing any protocol. I am just sharing what has worked for me, and would love for other people to join me in learning, healing, and inviting others. If you can't tell already, I am biting at the bit to share!