Some skin diseases first appear as ‘collodion baby’. The child is born with a tight and shiny film around the body. It looks like the baby is covered in a smooth and non-elastic membrane. Because the tightness of the skin, eyelids and lips look as they are being forced open.
Collodion babies s appear in the following diseases:
- Chanarin- Dorfman Syndrome
- Congenital Ichthyosiform Erythroderma (CIE): 90% of newborns with CIE are born as collodion babies.
- Lamellar Ichthyosis Type: Nearly all newborns with Lamellar Ichthyosis Type are born as collodion baby
- Netherton Syndrome
- Sjögren-Larsson Syndrome
In the weeks after birth the shell dries, cracks and sheds. After this the skin of the child will be visible.
Children are extremely vulnerable for infection, fluctuations in temperature and dehydration. Breathing problems and feeding problems often occur because of the tightness of the skin. Eyelids cannot shut properly which causes dryness of the eyes.
The membrane should not be damaged. Better to keep the child in the incubator and treat the child with soft creams. The incubator provides a stable and regulated temperature and humidity. Sometimes it is necessary to feed the child by tube. Fluids can be given for the eyes to keep them moist.
The life expectation of the collodion baby depends on the underlying problem.