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Embarrassing Bodies, 11:05pm Wednesday 1st July 2015 on More 4. Catch up for free on 4oD »

Video

Voiceover: Dionne Rodden suffers from a condition so rare that for twelve years no one has been able to identify it.

Dionne: It first appeared when I was about thirteen years old, about two weeks after I decided to shave my legs for the first time. I went to the doctors and they told me I was actually allergic to the razors. That was the first thing I was told. I then went to see a dermatologist and they told me it was a very bad form of eczema or a skin condition but they couldn’t give me a name for it. They didn’t actually know what it was. Actually my skin cracks apart and peels, then it fuses itself back together again, then cracks apart and bleeds, fuses itself back together again. It’s absolute agony. I’ve took to actually bandaging my legs whenever that would happen. Applying lots and lots of cream to it, then taking the bandage off would be a problem as little parts of the bandage would be embedded in the skin and it would be agony to try and tweeze little pieces of bandage out of my legs.

Voiceover: Dionne has suffered for twelve years, often bedridden with the pain. She’s seen dozens of specialists but no one knows what her condition is. After twelve years of suffering, Dionne decides to visit the embarrassing illnesses clinic.

Dr Dawn: Come on in, take a seat. Tell me what can I do for you?

Dionne: I have a skin condition on my legs where it peels apart and stretches and it bleeds.

Dr Dawn: Is it sore?

Dionne: It can be very, very sore.

Dr Dawn: Well, I probably need to have a little look actually, Dionne. Can I get you to pop up on the couch?

Dr Dawn: Ah, ok. And this is good is it?

Dionne: This is it at its best.

Dr Dawn: When it’s bad do they flake off?

Dionne: Yes and it will bleed through these cracks here and that’s when it will crack and bleed.

Dr Dawn: So it actually cracks on these paler areas?

Dionne: Yes.

Dr Dawn: I think it’s something called Ichthyosis, have you ever heard that term before?

Dionne: No.

Dr Dawn: No? It’s a condition where the skin scales much more than normal because, of course, it’s normal for us to shed skin, skin cells only live about 14 days and then we shed them. People with Ichthyosis tend to shed much more skin, they produce more layers of skin and they shed it more. It often does crack so it scales and cracks so exactly the kind of thing you are describing. There’s bad news and good news. The bad news is it’s not curable but the good news is there’s quite a lot we can do to make it better and this certainly isn’t the worst case I’ve seen, ok? Jolly good.

Voiceover: A specialist dermatologist prescribes another set of creams but this time she has to apply them in an altogether new way.

Dionne: This is one of my rituals that I have to go through on a daily basis which is mixing two creams together then applying the cling film, which I then take off about hour to two hours later. Occasionally I’ll sleep with it on.

Voiceover: After twelve years, has Dionne at last found her miracle cure?

Voiceover: For years no one has been able to diagnose Dionne’s scaly legs. Dawn came up with Ichthyosis and prescribed a simple cellophane and cream treatment. But, did it work?

Dr Dawn: Hi Dionne. Come on in. Now tell me, how have you got on?

Dionne: Everything is going quite well actually.

Dr Dawn: Really?

Dionne: Yeah.

Dr Dawn: Shall we have a little look? Oh wow! Dionne, that’s loads better. That is phenomenal!

Dionne: It’s fantastic. Now I don’t have to worry about bandaging it up anymore because there hasn’t been any splitting or cracking whatsoever.

Dr Dawn: That’s incredible!

Dionne: It’s fantastic.

Dr Dawn: You’ll be wearing shorts and skirts, won’t you this summer?

Dionne: Summer here I come!

Dr Dawn: That’s phenomenal. I’m really pleased. They look great and they feel great.

Dionne: Yeah. I’m well happy now.

Dr Dawn: Well done! That’s brilliant. Well, thank you for coming back.

Dionne: You’re welcome. Thank you for your first diagnosis, otherwise I might not have known. Bye.

Dr Dawn: Take care.

Read the video transcript

Consultation: Ichthyosis

Dr Harper treats a women for the skin condition Ichthyosis, with amazing results.

UPDATE

The treatment given to this patient was a combination of Cetraben, Culmurid and Eucerin and then a cling film wrap, but it might not work for everyone so best to go to your GP and get their professional opinion.

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Comments and Questions

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I also have had ichthyosis my entire adult life, before using Amlactin w cerapetic the only treatment was to get in the sun. Within 1 week of shorts & short sleeves I was 80% clear. I'm not afraid of the sun because I believe that our skin had a thicker layer than most. After clearing things up I do use sunscreen but be careful while using the Amlactin, no sun for 1 week cover up or you can blister.





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Hi everyone, I am 22 year old female from the Caribbean. I now live in the UK. I found myself on here after I have been looking at different websites for skin irritation amongst other things. The strange thing about my problem is that it only affects me when I am in the UK. I see none of my symptoms when I am in the heat. (sun). I'm really not sure if it is related. I get very bad dry, scaly and darkened skin which makes me look older than my age and really affects my confidence. I have tried absolutely everything. I just want to know if anyone else has has this peculiar problem?





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Hi Shaista, I am a 33-year-old living in Australia, and I really only deal with ichthyosis in the winter, as the air becomes cold and dry. The UK and the Caribbean are two different places in terms of the weather.

Hi my name is mo I had ichthyosis since child hood I am nw 22 I have tried everything from thick creams to steroid free cream and I also suffer from asthma and nut and fish allergy u just got to be strong enyways is cupping therapy good for exzema





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I've had ichthyosis vulgaris since I was a kid. I moved from a cold climate, upstate NY to So Cal (20 years) and Hawaii(last 8 years) The warmer and more sun I have, the better it is. I stayed in NY for 7 mos, 4 years ago and my back turned into alligator skin. It went away after a week. I know, not everyone can live in Hawaii, but the sun helps.





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Hi!!!! Everyone! I am Anna and I am 21 years old, and have been a Ichthyosis and eczema sufferer for my ENTIRE life. I have tried every creme in the book, from doublebase to hydrocortisone. How I control my symptoms: I shower once every two days, while showering I use one of the exfoliation mitts (can be bought anywhere from boots - superdrug - supermarket) - pick the roughest! Then I make a dose (usually about 2inch high) of - 3part Olive Oil - 2part sugar While showering I scrub myself vigorously with the mitt and oil mixture. Post Shower I use Calmurid. If you can PLEASE go to your doctors and ask for a prescription of Calmurid. It is sent by the gods!! It seems to strip the dead skin from your body and is lighter than most other creams so I can put it on in the morning - sit in my pjs for about half an hour while it soaks, then get dressed! HOWEVER - due to the acidic qualities - which is great for ichthyosis in the long term, try not to use it on broken or cut skin when possible as it huuuurts!!! - for about 20 mins (like vinegar in a cut) Then I pop hydrocortisone on my eczema areas and I literally SWEAR by this remedy! If you have dry skin on your face - which I also do! I use a rough flannel and hot water every morning and give it a GOOD scrub, then use 'Clinique 7 day scrub', and finish with Liz Earle goods and a Nivea dark blue moisturiser. Honestly my symptoms have completely COMPLETELY gone, it needs to be controlled by doing all these steps, but you literally cannot tell that I have or have ever had ichthyosis. - Ive had boyfriends who I have told 6 months in that I cannot shower without moisturising and explained by symptoms and they have been completely clueless the entire time - Including famous sportsmen and celebrities! Just cant keep this to me any longer!! Anna





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Use amlactin lotion/cream works very well cvs pharmacy has a generic equal to it. Different kinds are available regular/ceramide/triple action. Careful on irritated areas lactic acid in the product will sting a bit.





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Hi, I'm a 23 year old male , I was born with Ichthyosis Vulgaris. I've been to various dermatologist and use a variety of soaps and creams with the hope that it would improve my skin condition , but each time it just lead to me being disappointed. I discovered SR Lotion which has changed my life , I saw an improvement in my skin within 2 weeks of using the lotion I was amazed at the results , after 4 weeks the scally skin seemed to have lighted drastically. I owe SR Lotion a huge thank you for helping me change my life. Please go to www.srlotion.co.za to order your lotion and improve your skins appearance.





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I have ichthyosis and am interested in this cream. would love to know I can get some. thank you antoine





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Hello everyone. I had Ichthyosis from when I was a child and have tried many different remedies with no success. Bathing oils, special soaps, special moisture creams and etc. I have even been to different dermatologists several times but they could not recommend a proper cream/method of controlling/decreasing my skin dryness as there is no current cure for Icthyosis. I finally came across this cream online that actually helped. If you are interested in this cream or have inquires about it, you can visit http://srlotion.com/. The lotion is a bit expensive but worth it in my opinion. I have been using it for a month and a half now and even though my skin is not completely "crack free" it has significantly improved. My skin is moisturized and often shed which helps get rid of all the dust/dead skin cells. My skin complexion has also gotten lighter after using this cream and I hope that this cream will significantly reduce my skin cracking/dryness in the next few months to come. The website has a contact email if you have further questions about the details of the cream. I highly recommend that you at least try this lotion because this could be very helpful to you and it could be the closest thing to a cure! Good luck and hope it all works out.





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Hi I'm glad SR Lotion works for you. This only confirms my observation. My daughter has this condition too and it pains me to see her suffering from this condition. I have purchased several products online just to find the one that could control the dry skin. Although hers is milder than the others, still I have noticed that she's very much affected by her skin appearance. Glad to have used sr lotion, she's improving everyday. Her skin slowly becomes whiter and better these days.

I am a 25 yr old female, who has had ichthyosis since i was born. Born with it all over and then when i was three coming off my hands, face, arms and legs. Now mostly contained to the trunk of my body. Personally i don't use any soaps and only chemical free products. i have flare ups, i have good days and bad days. I believe my skin has a cycle, tight, itchy (well more than usual) and shedding then about a week of "good days" There are lots of triggers, diet is a big one, cut out sugar, acidic foods and alcohol. Exercise is a big thing for me, the more i sweat and exercise. the more elasticity my skin has, the less redness my skin has. I find no one product will continue to work, a combination of everything sort of in a cycle otherwise my skin will "get used to" and reject or stop working. i scrub with my loofah every day in the shower. A recent trip to Istanbul, Turkey i had a traditional Turkish bath and the scrub made my skin feel amazing. I have taken Vitamin A tablets, done wet dressings, had skin biopsy's. oil baths, salt baths, i refuse to go in chlorinated pools. cotton sheets, that are light a cooling, no flannelette or electric blankets. Certain clothing fabrics i avoid or direct touching,





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I have ichthyosis too. I think my skin is sensitive to the emollients the Dr's prescribed. As my skin itches and is dry and flaky all over. What has the dermatologist recommended for you?

An HC Cream Or This Other Cream I Tried Called Udderly Smooth, Also Recently Heard Of SR Lotion Online. Creams Should Be Applied While Skin Is Still Wet.

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