Congenital ichthyosis encompasses a large group of keratinizing disorders with widespread scaling and a variable degree of erythema. Little is known about the quality of life in children with congenital ichthyosis and the impact of the disease on their family. Fifteen children aged 5-16 years with lamellar ichthyosis, Netherton’s syndrome, epidermolytic hyperkeratosis or Harlequin ichthyosis, were investigated concerning the effect of their ichthyosis on their quality of life. This was measured with the established Children’s Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI), and the Dermatitis Family Impact questionnaire (DFI) modified by substituting the word ichthyosis for eczema. The questionnaires covered the preceding seven days and each had a maximum score of 30: the higher the score, the greater the Quality of Life impairment. The median score was 9.0 (range 2-19) for the CDLQI and 9.0 (range 3-21) for DFI. There was a significant correlation between the DFI and the CDLQI scores. The item in the CDLQI questionnaire that showed the highest score was “itchy, scratchy, sore or painful skin” and the most highly scored item in the DFI questionnaire was effect on “housework, e.g. washing, cleaning”; both items related to the children’s symptoms. The results of the study clearly establish that congenital ichthyosis impairs the quality of life of the affected children and their families.
Ichthyosis, Netherton`s syndrome, Harlequin ichthyosis, Children’s Dermatology Life Quality Index, Skin disease