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Epidermolytic Ichthyosis

It is possible that the main title of the report Epidermolytic Ichthyosis is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Epidermolytic ichthyosis (EI) specifically refers to a hereditary skin disorder that is characterized by varying degrees of blistering and subsequent reactive scaling of the skin. The underlying histopathology shows mid-epidermal splitting and hyperkeratosis, together referred to as epidermolytic hyperkeratosis (EHK). Depending on the nature of the causative mutation, the symptoms may vary from mild blistering upon friction to severe erosions or widespread warty scaling ("porcupine man"). A palmoplantar keratoderma (excessive callus formation on palms and soles) and/or hair abnormalities may be present in some forms of the disorder.

The term epidermolytic ichthyosis was agreed upon by the International Ichthyosis Consensus Group in 2009 and replaces the older, confusing labels of bullous congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma (Brocq) and epidermolytic hyperkeratosis.

A number of disorders show epidermolytic hyperkeratosis, including EI, superficial epidermolytic ichthyosis bullosa and desmosomal disorders such as McGrath ectodermal dysplasia-skin fragility syndrome. Much confusion has resulted from use of the term EHK to refer to the disorder now known as epidermolytic ichthyosis.


March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: (914)997-4488
Fax: (914)997-4763
Tel: (888)663-4637

Foundation for Ichthyosis & Related Skin Types
2616 N Broad Street
Colmar, PA 18915
Tel: (215)997-9400
Fax: (215)997-9403
Tel: (800)545-3286

NIH/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Information Clearinghouse
One AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
Tel: (301)495-4484
Fax: (301)718-6366
Tel: (877)226-4267
TDD: (301)565-2966

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Surgery
233 East Erie Street
Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60611
Tel: (312)926-5427
Fax: (312)926-7404

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223

European Network for Ichthyosis (ENI)
In den Dellen 21
D-51515 Kürten
Tel: +49 2207849869

For a Complete Report:

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated: 8/1/2012
Copyright 1987, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1993, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

Last Updated: May 28, 2015
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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