I have lamellar ichthyosis. I use bath oil regularly in my bathwater, specifically baby oil. Peanut or almond oil also is very nice (a bit more spendy though). However, something that's somewhat new is baby oil gel. I rub that all over before I put on my ointment. It's great. Plus, if I'm out and about and my skin gets really dry and needs moisturing, I go into a bathroom, put some baby oil gel on and then put ointment over it. Putting ointment over dry skin doesn't do a whole lot since I've already got a layer of scales there, I need to get the skin moist first and short of a bath or shower, the gel is the best way to do it.
I do also slather on baby oil after I shower. I can spread it faster than I can my ointment (generic petroleum jelly) and it then keeps me from drying out while I take the time to coat myself with petroleum jelly.
I have heard of other people using crisco or vegetable oil in their bathwater too. No matter how funny the idea may be to you, if it works for you, use it!
On a somewhat similar note, some people can use lotions with great success. I have found however, that with my skin, lotion moisturizes my skin for a short time, but isn't heavy enough to hold moisture in, so it evaporates out and ends up leaving me even drier than before. If you are caring for someone with ichthyosis, this may be something you want to be very observant about to discover which is a better moisturizer for you.
Lastly, whenever you see your dermatoligists, ask if they have any new lotion or ointment samples as it seems like every 5-8 years, I find something else I like better. I've run the gamut from A&D ointment (boy was that a long time ago) to Eucerin to Aquaphor, and now to plain old petroleum jelly (not Vaseline. For some reason Vaseline spreads thinner than the generic stuff and doesn't work as well for me) and that's just the over the counter stuff ointments, not the acid based stuff or prescription items.
You may want to test stuff on a small portion of skin rather than trying it in a the bath when it coats everything. Hands and elbows are pretty easy to test with if you're not doing it on yourself.
[This message has been edited by Chandra (edited November 21, 2000).]
I am female, and was born in 1972 with Lamellar Ichthyosis.