Fish scales are a chronic and severe disease in which the support of loved ones is extremely important. It will not happen without regular examinations and visits to the dermatologist. It is a difficult disease to treat, but it is worth trying to reduce its symptoms and limit its development by implementing treatment.
Causes of fish scales
This disease may be more severe or less severe depending on the variety identified. However, every case of this disease is chronic. It can be inherited or occur as a result of chromosome mutations. Some cases of the disease are acquired. Most cases of the disease originate from a genetic disorder. The most important cause is the presence of one or two defective alleles in the genetic material of a gene.
In different types of diseases, mutations concern different genes. These include proteins that build cells of the epidermis or proteins, on the basis of which enzymes are formed. A carrier of a faulty gene may or may not develop the disease. This depends on the way in which the fish scales are inherited.
Variety of fish scales
The hereditary variant of the disease is divided into several basic groups:
Common husked fish: the most common form. This type of disease can occur in both men and women. The first symptoms may appear as early as 3 or 4 months of age. The variety takes the form of fine and white scales, which will appear in the axillary fossa, groin and knee and elbow bends. Symptoms are accompanied by bellows keratosis (small lumps in the place of hair follicles).
Gender-coupled shellfish: a variety found only in the male sex. The gene that determines the appearance of the disease is located in the sex chromosome X. Women can only be carriers of this type of disease. Skin lesions are visible from the moment the child is born.
Blackberry variety: it is inherited in the same way as a common form. Skin lesions occur on small parts of the skin and take the form of warts.
Ichthyotic eritherderma: occurs from birth. This form of the disease is extremely severe and can lead to the death of a child. The skin of the born child is completely covered by cornified layers. Skin lesions are often accompanied by severely bleeding secretions. The face of children with this type of disease is distorted.
The acquired form of disease can occur in people who have been devastated. The illness is then a consequence of the bad absorption syndrome or ulcerative colitis. It can also be caused by liver disease and some cancers. The acquired type of disease will disappear spontaneously after the cause is removed.
The formation of the fish husk
The mechanism of development of this disease is excessive activity of processes concerning epidermal keratosis. The process of elimination of these cells is also characterized by a prolonged period of time. The human epidermis is composed of several layers, and the deepest of them contains stem cells.
These cells multiply and move towards the surface of the epidermis, also losing most of the intracellular structures. Proper conditions assume that after reaching the surface contact with the epidermis is broken off. Patients with diagnosed fish scales have extracellular proteins in the epidermis. They prevent proper separation of keratinized layers.
Symptoms of fish scales
Depending on the variety of fish scales, the skin changes will take on a variety of forms. There will be a difference in intensity, distribution and timing of symptoms. In general, it can be assumed that this disease is characterized by multiple, layered patches that vary in size from a few millimetres to a few centimetres.
The patches are yellow or brown in colour and overlap in tiles. Skin lesions form horny cells in the layers of the epidermis. They usually occur in the area of the chest, back, limbs, hands and feet. On the face they occur only in some varieties of fish scales. Bellows keratosis occurs in the hereditary variety conjugated to the sex.
Fish scales – diagnostics of disease
A very important issue if you notice any symptoms is whether the disease has previously occurred in a family member. A visit to the doctor will not prevent the disease, but it can alleviate its symptoms and reduce its complications. In order to confirm the hereditary nature of the disease, it is necessary to remember each member of the family who was diagnosed with the disease.
This is called the pedigree of the disease. The doctor will certainly ask you about your siblings, parents and grandparents. The specialist will conduct an extensive interview, in which he will ask about the ailments. There will certainly be a question of when the first symptoms appeared and what their location was.
Modern surveys for fish scales
An inherited disease affects up to 1 in 250 newborns. Clinics offer the possibility to perform very modern genetic tests. These studies use next-generation sequencing (NGS) and aim to examine the encoding regions of the ordered genes. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is isolated from the blood sample.
The pathogenic variant means that the found change in the gene sequence is directly related to the origin of the disease. The potentially pathogenic variant is likely to conclude that the gene change has an impact on the disease. However, it is not possible to prove this link unambiguously on the basis of current scientific knowledge.
There is also a variant with unknown pathogenicity that assumes that it is not possible to determine the significance of the change found. The potentially benign option means that the change found is unlikely to be related to the origin of the disease.
Treatment of fish scales
In the case of genetic diseases, symptomatic treatment is possible. Oral or topical preparations are used for this purpose. Good treatment results are obtained with retinoids, which are derivatives of vitamin A. The basic mechanism of their action is the regulation of the mechanism of epidermis keratosis and reduction of sebum secretion.
All pros and cons should be considered before the introduction of treatment, as they have a number of negative effects. The treatment also uses glucocorticosteroids, which have an anti-inflammatory effect and reduce the number of cells that keratinize. In topical treatment, the aim is to remove excess keratinized epidermis.
Fish scales are a serious and chronic disease based on genetics. The disease cannot be fully cured. However, it is possible to stop its progress and symptomatic treatment. It is worth looking for a doctor who specializes in this disease and has extensive experience. Appropriate choice of treatment will help to minimize the symptoms.