I'm Ken Roberts, age 52, from Pennsylvania originally, having lived in California and Florida the last 27 years.
I don't ever recall being diagnosed, but around age 14 remember my dad giving me a small slip of paper on which he'd typed "Ichthyosis" and what treatments should help. like "coal tar"
We were extremely poor, and I was never given any cream nor treatment of any sort while growing-up.
Grade school and high school were pure Hell, between the itching and being repulsed by girls. I can't recall being in comfort 1 day from birth through age 18 during the winters.
So I focused on baseball during springs and summers plus swimming, and school work the rest of the year. I rarely spent time on social life until around age 18.
The itchiness was overwhelming, and I'd shave my body especially my scalp so as to reduce the irritated skin, pouring most any fluid I could on my skin.
Around age 8 I swore to myself I'd move to a warm climate as soon as I could -- the move was delayed by college, and then I headed to California for law school, where I lived in relative comfort the next 20 years.
Doctors diagnosed me as having dry skin -- well, I knew that.
Think that I have Ichthyosis Vulgaris...and it's 20 times worse in cold weather than in moderate weather...and 5 times worse in moderate weather than warm weather.
I recall being irritated and going nuts in Palm Springs, California one weekend in the winter several years ago. So dry weather makes it worse too...But if I'd have the choice between WARM weather and MOIST weather, I'd take WARM weather any day!
I have no real problems sweating, that happens regularly.
During the summers in California I was in Heaven. Have since moved to Florida for a variety of reasons, and am relatively in splendid comfort about 10 months of the year, only December-January is a problem.
Three products that work best for me are Denorex Medicated Shampoo, Scalpicin, and 99% Pure Aloe Vera Gel.
I'd never heard of Acutane until Laura Phillips mentioned here. Thank you, Laura, I will try it out...I will try anything.
I continue to keep my hair very short, as it seems necessary to get the proper amounts of fluids onto my head, particularly Scalpicin.
Wish that I could find and buy some salicyclic acid as it relieves the itching better than anything else.
I've also noticed that tomatoes and grapes eaten regularly help the skin as well.
[This message has been edited by Ken Roberts (edited December 30, 2000).]