WARNING: The Embarrassing Bodies website contains images of an explicit medical nature and nudity in a medical context.

Embarrassing Bodies, 9:00pm Thursday 31st July 2014 on Channel 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.

Did you find this useful? YesYes NoNo

874 of 1305 people said they found this useful

Comments and Questions

You can share your experiences and thoughts with other Embarrassing Bodies site-users below. Comments & Questions are reviewed by moderators, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

Hi I am a 50 years old I suffer from itchiness all over my body and makes it difficult to sleep.recenty relized tea makes it worse and in a hot climate it's better. I need to no what I can do to get it cured.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I'm 36 years old and have just discovered that the skin condition I have is Ichthyosis. Its bothered me for so long. Now I have a name to the condition, I feel I have something to work from. Its good to see also a person of colour in the film. I feel reassured that there are others like me affected and still staying positive. Thank you.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi all I am a 38 year old male who has suffered with this condition from birth. My Grandfather also suffered from it. Until about 7 years ago i was very agitated and fed up with my condition and was also embarrassed as dark clothes would show up any flaky scalp etc. I have used everything from calmurid, cold tar shampoos and creams to E45 and every other thing on the market. oilatum in baths, hot towels with oil on scalp. I discovered Eucerin lotion with 10 percent Urea and if applied every day after a shower my condition is hardly visible. I use the shampoo also with is perfume free etc as is the cream. I also discovered a Eucerin sun cream in Portugal about 4 years ago but have enquired in Irish pharmacies a few times but they dont have it. My Mum did say that she saw an advert in the Indo for it last week so maybe we up to speed finally. I ran out of lotion for 3 weeks lately as there was a shortage of it where i live and it was a nightmare without it. With it i feel like i dont suffer from any condition but without it I sure do. It also doesnt build up on my skin like other lotions do. I have no ulterior motive for recommending Eucerin only that it has given me my life back. There was talk of products containing Urea being removed from the market, something to do with the processing process and carbon footprint. If they stop making Eucerin my life will be unbearable and very painful. Please try it guys, i really hope ye get the same relief that i do.

Do people with ichthosis find their skin is very sensitive? I have a hard time finding washing powders, body lotions, soap etc that don't irritate my skin. I have asked the Dr for a patch test to find out what breaks my skin out. My symptoms do not warrant a test. But if he spends £100 a month on lotions and potions, electricity on washing and re washing clothes he may think again. It's making me feel really stressed.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I am 60 years old and have had ichthyosis vulgaris from birth. It is probably now the best it has ever been but it will never go away - if I don't do my usual skin regime for a few days it just reverts back to being as bad as ever. I put about two tablespoons of salt - ordinary cheap salt nothing fancy - in my warm bath and I scrub my skin with one of those screwed up plastic things, I think they are called body buffers, then when I'm dry I put on Aqueous cream all over; baby oil or even olive oil are also very good particularly if you rub it in while you are still wet and then pat yourself dry or, if it's warm enough, just let yourself dry! A warm climate always helps my skin, too - shame I live in England! Good luck to you all, I know it's depressing but my skin has definitely got better with time.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I have the same problem till I can't get married because of my hard skin everywhere and I m not fell confidence if some people wanted to shake my hand or winter come I have to struggling a lot .spending money with lot of brand lotion soap and peeling but there's no results sometime fell why this happening to me? And I'm 29 years old now I never fell that massage on my body ever *(





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

i also have a problem of ichthyosis n my age z 16 n em so worried abouttt it so wottt should i do .... sometimes i feel dat i should die ... is there any treatment of ds disease or can my skin come on normal position

Hi, I've had VERY dry flaky skin all over my body all my life (I am 41) and a couple of years ago I also developed rosecea. It was then that I switched all my moisturisers, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel to paraben and sls free products and also started using pure almond oil too. I also use exfoliating mittens every day BEFORE showering on dry skin. Doing this really has helped. I also discovered that I have a mild case of ichthyosis vulgaris on my legs, so I 'invested' in SR Lotion. This stuff is AMAZING! after just one week my legs were really smooth and no longer have that horrible scaly look. I now only use the cream once every other day (which makes it last longer as it's quit expensive) but it really has changed my life. Anyone with severely dry skin or ichthyosis must try SR Lotion! I hope that helps. Cx

sir I and my younger brother also suffering from ichthyosis-vulgaris by birth. Can it be cured. What is the medicines. Please help me. Now I am 52 yrs. My borther is 40 yrs.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi, One of may friend has skin problem (ichthyosis vulgaris) through out her body. I just saw the video their is some sought of treatment available and Dr Harper from this link http://www.channel4embarrassingillnesses.com/video/embarrassing-bodies/consultation-ichthyosis/ had given some kind of cream or lotion to better results for skin. Please let us know the medicine name, cost and way of order.

Hi way older...... I think you made a great connection with the warmer weather. Check out your own water at home and what levels of hard water it is. typically a low level is under 13 to as high as 28- this call for a salt water system where actual salt tablets are added to your water softner. In addition sweating combined with Ocean salt water is very helpful during the winter months when the weather is cold- It might mean taking a mandatory vacation someplace warm with oceans and salt water. I would offer this try Sally Beauty supply UNICARE black and red label also you can find this on line this is relatively inexpensive I buy it by the gallon Aquafor and Eucerin cream works but its really kind of sticky- You can if its on your legs apply and then sleep with cotton stocking overnight- this can also work for hand by wearing cotton gloves and or socks at night if its on your feet- On scalp I would recommend the Unicare as it is light barely noticeable and can be used as an all over cream for your hair and body. I am right there with you girl with if people have an issue it is their problem- Most often it is merely ignorance and fear that people say things- Often the gifts we have fall in the arts in creativity, music, arts, and the empathy we can have for others. It can be a cruel world out there- If you allign yourself with other like minds it makes it much easier...... Foundation called FIRST foundation Ichthyosis rare scaley skin disorders based in PA has conferences all over the country- I am an ambassador in Florida to answer question offer advice and encouragement- Good luck in this journey in a tell all world of visual reality shows....





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi my son has had atopic eczema since a baby he is very bad at the moment have tried everything. I am seeing a consultant dermatologist in Crumlin (dublin) for the past 2 years they told me today he is lacking a protein in his skin called filaggrin (filement aggragating protein) do you have any more research on this if the protein can be put back in his skin. we are now told to take milton baths twice a week.cream 3 times a day moisturize 3 times a day use viscopaste bandages everynight for a week. He has very dry skin I am already doing a full routine and not working mabey this will.i am exausted from it i really could do with your advise. we look at your programme here in ireland its brillant. I am not a nurse but like medical reasons why something is wrong. love to hear from you. One more thing is Epidermolytic Ichthyosis the same as lacking in this protein filaggrin. thank you





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi there. My 2 years old daughter been diagnosed with mild form of ichtyosis vulgaris . Is SR lotion applicable to babes?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

My son has this too. I have brought lush products and have exfoliated his skin it works wonders x

In reply to the sr lotion treatment, I was quite sceptical, but am willing to give anything a try. Well I am glad I did try it, as this is quite simply the best cream I have used on my ichthyosis. To look at my skin now, you would not think there was anything wrong with my skin and it has completely cleared my condition. I cannot speak highly enough of it. To anyone who is undecided you need to try this seriously. I purchased from srlotion.com on a thursday, and it arrived on the friday.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

what is the name of that lotion?i am suffering also from itchyosis and i don't know what is the best treatment..can you help me?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.



Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.



Please don't swear or be rude in your questions, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting questions. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines


More Information

  1. Embarrassing Illnesses

    Episode Guides - All the episode guides from Series 1 of our groundbreaking health s…

  2. How to Check Yourself

    Videos - Self-check guides for the balls, boobs, vulva and skin.

  3. STI Checker

    Embarrassing Bodies Homepage - Do you like things safe and secure or do you live life on the edge?…

  4. Vaginal Dryness

    In Conditions - Vaginas should normally be moist, but due to a number of factors, s…

  5. We're Coming to Get You!

    In Episodes - The Docs are back, and this time they're coming to get you!

  6. Enlarged Labia

    In Conditions - Many women are born with larger or more noticeably asymmetric labia…

  7. Sagging Breasts

    In Conditions - Everyone's boobs eventually succumb to the downward pull of gravity…

  8. Constipation

    In Conditions - Constipation is extremely common and can affect a broad range of ag…

  9. Prolapsed Rectum

    In Conditions - This is a painful condition that can result in the rectum protrudin…

  10. Perimenopause

    In Conditions - The perimenopause is an inevitable right of passage leading up to t…

  11. Enlarged Prostate

    In Conditions - An enlarged prostate (known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH)…

  12. Erectile Dysfunction

    In Conditions - Any glance at your email spam filter will tell you that erectile dy…

  13. Dr Pixie McKenna

    In Videos - Find out more about Dr Pixie McKenna

  14. Endometriosis

    In Conditions - Around 2 million women suffer from Endometriosis, and it's when the…

  15. Quick Health Advice: Excessive Sweating

    In Videos - Dr Pixie discusses the causes of excessive sweating and the treatme…


Be On Embarrassing Bodies

The clinic is opening again for a new series.
Apply for Embarrassing Bodies >

Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.


If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here