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Growing up with dry, scaly skin

Born with a rare condition called lamellar ichthyosis, a young woman lives a normal life with support from her lifelong dermatologist, while advocating for herself and others.

Abby's story

Growing up with dry, scaly skin

Learn how Abby Evans lives with lamellar ichthyosis, a genetic condition that presents as scaly, chronically shedding skin.

I was born with lamellar ichthyosis, a genetic condition that presents as scaly, chronically shedding skin. My skin is very dry and builds up over time, putting me at a higher risk for overheating. When other kids would be outside playing during recess or gym class, I had to stay inside or hang out in the nurse's office.

But overall, there are not a lot of limitations with ichthyosis. It may limit the way you do things, but it doesn't limit the things you can do. I'm a completely normal 19-year-old. I'm a college student, I have friends, I have jobs, I study, I do clubs, I go out, I go bowling, I go to the movies, I go out to eat.

I've been seeing my dermatologist, Dr. Epstein, since the day I was born. She’s helped me find the best treatments to manage my condition, including specialty lotions and exfoliators. In high school, she helped me get the accommodations I needed so that I could succeed, and since then she has helped me learn to advocate for myself. Ichthyosis has provided me with a lot of personal growth opportunities —even though I face a lot of adversity, I've learned how to stand up and advocate for myself and others through the Foundation for Ichthyosis & Related Skin Types.

I’m now in college and doing well. I'm going into my sophomore year taking a full course load, I have a couple of jobs, and I have really great friends. So, I'm just your average, overachieving college student.

The dermatologist's perspective

SkinSerious patient story dermatologist, Bonnie Epstein, MD, FAAD

“Abby is a remarkable advocate for herself and others with ichthyosis. While it’s not an easy condition to live with, Abby has been an excellent patient throughout. It’s so rewarding to help her treat her physical symptoms and help her manage how it affects other dimensions of her life. It has been incredible working with her, all the way from an infant into the strong woman she is today.”

─ Bonnie S. Epstein, MD, FAAD, Lutherville, Maryland

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