Ichthyosis event gets great support
A fundraising and awareness event in Enniscorthy for the local ichthyosis support group was very well attended.
The coffee morning styled initiative was held in the Bellefield GAA complex and it attracted a sizeable crowd to the venue much to the delight of the organisers.
Ichthyosis is not defined as one particular condition but is the overall name for around 20 different conditions that affect the skin.
People with ichthyosis lose the protective barrier that keeps skin moist and it leads to dry skin. In some cases it can be very debilitating.
Ten years ago a group called Ichthyosis in Ireland was formed with the aim of providing contact and support for people affected by the condition here.
The organisers of the event were very appreciative of the support it received from local people.
While there are other factors that can cause dry skin and other forms of irritation the significant thing about ichthyosis is that while it can't be cured there are treatments available that can relieve the scaling effect and make people with the condition feel more comfortable.
In addition to losing the protective barrier that keeps skin moist people with the condition can also develop new skin cells to quickly, or shed old cells too slowly, and this can result in a build up of think scaly skin.
One in every 250 people is affected by ichthyosis vulgaris while there is another strain of the condition called x-linked recessive ichthyosis that affects around one in 6,000 males.
Ichthyosis can be inherited through mutations to a person's genes resulting in a change in how a person's body develops proteins.
Ichthyosis gene mutations affect the proteins that protect skin and keep it moist and also affect how quickly skin cells are multiplied or she.
While in some cases parents can pass on such genes to their children in other situations babies can get the condition before birth without their parents having ever had it.
While the overall number of people in Ireland affected by ichthyosis is relatively low the aim of events like that in Enniscorthy is to help ensure that those affected get support.