सोमवार, 11 मई 2015

What is a Collodion Baby?

अजब-गजब: अमृतसर में महिला ने दिया प्लास्टिक बेबी को जन्म

Collodion babyCollodion baby

 Collodion baby

Collodion Baby

All parents hope that their new born baby will be entirely normal. Words can not easily express the initial distress and shock of being told you have a collodion baby especially as parents receive little information about the condition in the first few days after birth. This article attempts to provide such information:
What is a collodion baby?
This is a medical term used by doctors to describe the appearance of a new born baby who appears to have an ”extra skin”. It is a descriptive term not a specific diagnosis or disorder. Parents often describe the appearance as;
  • being like an extra skin
  • having a sausage-like skin on the outside
  • a shiny film looking like I had just covered my child in Vaseline

Parents may notice that the eyelids and lips have a forced open appearance due to the tightness of the skin.

When will I know if I have a collodion baby?
This skin condition is rarely predicted during pregnancy.
Stage 1
The problem appears at the time of birth. The first thing that usually confronts the parents is either a doctor or midwife explaining that something is wrong and actually seeing the baby themselves with abnormal looking skin. Because the condition is so rare, it is not unusual for the medical personnel attending the birth to have little knowledge of the condition. Parents who have been through such an experience often say they were told ”their baby is abnormal but we are not sure what is wrong”. To know that something is wrong but to have no idea what is wrong can be very distressing in the early stages.
Stage 2
A collodion baby will have to be nursed in a humidified incubator in the first few days of life which can further increase the sense of isolation that parents may feel.
During this time it is likely that you will meet a number of other doctors, which can be somewhat bewildering. A children’s doctor (paediatrician) will arrive soon after the birth to look after your child and take over their care from the midwife or obstetrician (doctor involved in the pregnancy and delivery).
Stage 3
Depending on the level of expertise at your local hospital it is likely that you will see a dermatologist (skin specialist) within the first few days. Even dermatologists do not see this condition very frequently and they may choose to refer you on to a specialist paediatric dermatologist for assessment if they are not locally available.

What are the risks of being a collodion baby?
The baby can lose heat and fluid through the abnormal skin. This is easily avoided by applying a moisturiser to the skin. The condition is not thought to be painful or distressing to the child.
What happens to this extra skin?
The outer skin layer will shed off on its own within the first few days of life. Occasionally this process takes 1-2 weeks.
Then what is going to happen to my baby?
After the collodion skin is shed off the following possibilities can occur:
  • Normal skin
  • Abnormal scaling of the skin develops (called ichthyosis)
  • Lamellar ichthyosis (generalised)
  • Non-bullous ichthyosiform erythroderma
  • Limited lamellar ichthyosis
  • Other ichthyosiform syndromes (very rare)
It is frustrating that we can’t predict which of the above events will happen in the first few days of life. It is important that your doctor monitors the situation closely and deals with any problems if and when they arise.

What causes a collodion skin?
We do not know the exact cause but there appears to be an inherited or genetic abnormality in normal skin shedding.
Are there likely to be any internal problems with my baby?
No, in the vast majority of cases the problem is confined to the skin.

अमृतसर। आपको जानकर हैरत होगी कि पंजाब के अमृतसर जिले से लगभग 240 कलोमीटर दूर राजसंशी इलाके में एक महिला ने एक ऐसी बच्ची को जन्म दिया है जिसका पूरा शरीर प्लास्टिक का बना हुआ है। बच्ची के इस रूप को देखकर बच्चे के मां-बाप समेत डॉक्टर भी हैरान हैं। डॉक्टरों ने कहा कि बच्ची को एक विचित्र तरह का चर्म रोग है जिसका इलाज होना तुरंत होना जरूरी है।

बच्ची की प्रतिक्रियाएं भी काफी अलग हैं, जैसे ही इस बच्ची को कोई छूता है वो जोर-जोर से रोने लगती हैं तो वहीं दूसरी ओर इस बच्ची का मुंह हमेशा ही खुला रहता है जिसके कारण वो ना तो खा सकती है औऱ ना ही कुछ पी सकती है।

जहां स्थानीय लोग बच्ची को देखकर तरह-तरह की अंधविश्वासी बातें कर रहे हैं वहीं दूसरी ओर डॉक्टरों का कहना है कि बच्ची को कोलोडिओन रोग है जिस बच्चे को यह रोग होता है उसकी चमड़ी शरीर से प्रत्येक तीन-चार सप्ताह में अपने आप उतरती रहती है। इस दौरान शरीर की चमड़ी फट जाती है, जो कि काफी दर्दनाक होता है। बच्ची के घरवाले बच्ची के स्वास्थ्य को लेकर बहुत ज्यादा चिंतित हैं, तो वहीं डॉक्टर बेबी का इलाज कर रहे हैं। उसे ड्राप के जरिये पानी और दूध पिलाया जा रहा है। जन्म के समय उसे और उसकी मां को कोई तकलीफ नहीं थी, बावजूद इसके कोलोडिओन बेबी का जन्म हुआ है।

Collodion baby

Collodion baby

The collodion baby is a descriptive term for the infant who is born encased in a tight shiny membrane that resembles plastic wrap. The collodion baby is not a disease entity but is the first expression of some forms of ichthyosis.

The collodion membrane cracks and peels over the course of several weeks. The tightness of the membrane may cause the eyelids to turn out revealing the pink inner lid; a condition called ectropionEclabium, the turning out of the lips due to the tightness of the membrane, may accompany the ectropion, and may cause difficulties with nursing. When the membrane is completely shed the infant may display one of several ichthyosis skin types. Congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma (CIE) and lamellar ichthyosis are the most commonly seen forms of ichthyosis presenting with a collodion membrane. However, the membrane may also be present in Netherton syndrome and other very rare forms of ichthyosis, and is always present with harlequin ichthyosis. A small percentage of infants shed the membrane and never display any other skin involvement; a phenomenon called “self-healing collodion baby.”

Collodion babies are at high risk of some complications. The cracking and peeling of the membrane increases the risk of infection from microorganisms. These infants are also at risk for fluid loss, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, body temperature instability, and pneumonia. Collodion babies should be placed in a high humidity chamber, and monitored closely for complications. A high humidity environment will allow slow, gradual sloughing off of the membrane. The membrane will come off on its own and should not be peeled off.   Application of mild petroleum-based moisturizers may help the infant feel more comfortable while the membrane is peeling off.

A consult with a pediatric dermatologist will be necessary to determine which form of ichthyosis is present, if any. (Contact FIRST for a referral to a dermatologist familiar with ichthyosis.)

Collodion baby is the name given to a baby who is born encased in a skin that resembles a yellow, tight 

and shiny film or dried collodion (sausage skin). These babies are often premature.

The collodion membrane undergoes desquamation or peeling, which is usually complete by 2 to 3 weeks of life. This reveals the underlying skin disorder.


The collodion membrane is due to abnormal desquamation (a peeling process). It is due to mutation of certain genes and is usually an autosomal recessive, congenital ichthyosis (scaly skin condition). However 10% of collodion babies have normal underlying skin – a mild presentation known as ‘self-healing’ collodian baby.


As the collodion membrane dries up it can crack leading to fissures. This affects the barrier function of the skin.
  • Infection
  • Overheating or cooling
  • Dehydration
Another concern is that the membrane acts like a thick film causing physical constraints of underlying tissues. This can create problems with:

  • Suckling and nutrition
  • Breathing
  • Ectropion (lower eyelids turned outwards away from the eyeball)
  • Constriction bands resulting in reduced blood supply and swelling of the limbs.

The baby is usually transferred to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
An incubator provides a humidified, neutral temperature environment. Other supportive treatments such as intravenous fluid and tube feeding are often necessary.
The aim is to keep the skin soft and attempt to reduce scaling. The collodion membrane should not be debrided (pulled off). Treatment may include:
  • Regular emollients such as petrolatum to keep the skin moist.
  • Pain relief such as paracetamol.
  • Mild topical steroids to reduce secondary inflammation.
  • Artificial tears if there is severe ectropion (outward turning eyelid).
Management requires the expertise of a dermatologist and the paediatric team. Other specialists that may need to be involved include
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Geneticist
  • Physiotherapist
The life expectancy and difficulties that the collodion baby faces depend upon the particular underlying condition.

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