Agawam boy raising awareness about ichthyosis

An Agawam boy and his mother are spreading awareness about a very serious skin condition that causes chronic itching.
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 4:51 PM EDT
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AGAWAM, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - An Agawam boy and his mother are spreading awareness about a very serious skin condition that causes chronic itching.

Meet Peyton Fleagle. He is a 12-year-old boy from Agawam and a Boy Scout who loves hanging out with his friends - normal activities for a kid his age - but there’s something out of the ordinary. Peyton is living with something called X-linked ichthyosis.

“The skin layers do not form correctly. They are missing something...The layers of the skin don’t form correctly, so they’re not producing the right proteins and the right nutrients to keep his skin what we call ‘normal healthy skin’ so instead, his skin kind of overproduces and he ends up with scales on his skin,” said Christina Fleagle.

Christina Fleagle told us when Peyton was a year and a half old, she first noticed the dry patches on his skin.

“As he got older, it spread up his legs onto his trunk, onto his arms, and then up his neck…By the time he was around 10, it was over 90 percent of his body,” Christina Fleagle noted.

Because of this disease, Peyton cannot sweat and he can get scales on his head, which can lead to hair loss.

To combat the itchiness and discomfort he faces with this condition, Peyton took part in a clinical trial of a topical medication with Timber Pharmaceuticals, which has proven successful.

“Before all the scales went away, it did get really itchy and I really wanted to quit for the first two to three weeks…Eventually, the scales were just entirely gone and I didn’t really need to apply the medicine anymore,” Peyton Fleagle explained.

Peyton told us his skin condition is annoying at times, but hasn’t stopped him from living a normal life. His advice to anyone living with a challenge is “Always remember, if you are able to do this, you will get better and you will be better…You may not like it at first. It may be difficult. It may be annoying. Some people might not support it, but if you stick it through, you will get better.”

If you or someone else is experiencing ichthyosis, Christina and Peyton want you to know you are not alone and there are resources available. You can CLICK HERE for more information.