Diagnosis and Treatments of pityriasis rosea | Dermatology

Pityriasis rosea

What is pityriasis rosea?

Pityriasis rosea is a rash that usually begins as a large round or oval patch on your chest, abdomen, or back. This spot, called the noble patch, can be up to 4 inches (10 cm) wide. The noble spot is usually followed by smaller spots that sweep from the centre of your body in a shape resembling the drooping of pine branches.

Pityriasis rosea can affect any age. It most commonly occurs between the ages of 10 and 35. It usually resolves on its own within 10 weeks. Pityriasis rosea can be itchy. Treatment may help relieve symptoms.

What does the rash resemble in pityriasis rosea?

Usually, the “noble spot” appears on the skin first. It is usually an oval or circular patch that can be 2-5 cm in diameter. Usually, this colour is pink/red. It most commonly appears on your chest or upper back. It can sometimes appear on the abdomen (abdomen), neck, back, groin, or upper arms. However, many cases do not have a primary patch or go unnoticed.

After about 5-15 days, a more widespread rash appears gradually over a period of about 10 days. Most common this is on the back or chest and abdomen. This rash can spread to most of your body. However, it does not usually affect your face.

The rash usually consists of oval-shaped spots 1-3 cm in diameter and pink in colour. These spots are smaller than the primary spot. Often the spots appear to form streaks along with the wrinkles of your skin.

This rash may be very itchy. The rash fades over time, but this may take several weeks. Leaves no marks or scars. Second attacks are very rare but have been reported. This description is the typical case that most people seem to have. Sometimes, the rash may only affect the arms and legs. In rare cases, it can cause the skin to flake or peel, which can be troublesome.

Risk factors

Pityriasis rosea happens regularly in kids and youthful grown-ups. It is most likely to occur in spring and autumn.

What are the symptoms of pityriasis rosea?

Most people with pityriasis rosea feel well but are aware of a rash. The rash may be itchy, but it is not permanent. Some people may experience:

  • Mild headache.
  • High temperature (fever).
  • Feeling sick.
  • Feeling more tired than usual.

Any symptoms that occur usually begin before the rash appears. Some people get very itchy before the rash first appears. Sometimes, some people also have infected areas in their mouths – for example, blisters or sores.

What causes pityriasis rosea?

Pityriasis rosea is caused by a viral infection. The virus was recently identified as a herpesvirus. Children and young adults are more likely to be infected, for unknown reasons. Recurrence is rare – someone who gets the rash has only a 2% chance of catching it again. Pityriasis rosea does not appear to be highly contagious, but other family members may prefer to practice stricter personal hygiene just for peace of mind.

How do medical care experts make a determination of pityriasis rosea?

Usually, a doctor may diagnose pityriasis rosea solely on the basis of its appearance, particularly the onset of the distinct large herald patch and the symmetrical Christmas tree presentation. Also, the herald patch tends to have a fine-scale with a definite border, the so-called “collarette.”

To preclude different kinds of skin issues, the specialist may scratch the skin and inspect the scales under a magnifying instrument to recognize parasite contamination that can mirror pityriasis rosea. Additionally, blood tests including a Rapid Plasma Reagent (RPR) might be done to recognize auxiliary syphilis, which may likewise copy pityriasis rosea. In some cases, a skin biopsy may be needed to rule out other skin diseases.


In most cases, pityriasis rosea is harmless and does not return after it has gone. If your condition persists for more than 3 months, consult your doctor. You may have another condition or interact with medication

Pregnant women in the group have a higher chance of developing serious complications from this condition. If you are pregnant and develop pityriasis rosea, see your doctor/gynaecologist at once. In one small study, the majority of women who developed a rash in the first 15 weeks of pregnancy experienced a miscarriage.

How is it treated?

Pityriasis rosea goes away without treatment. It usually lasts about 6 to 8 weeks. If the rash is itchy, you may want to use moisturizers and lubricants to soothe the itch. If symptoms are severe, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs such as corticosteroids to relieve itching and reduce the rash.

Although no treatment is needed, antiviral drugs such as acyclovir may shorten the time of getting the rash, especially if you take them when the rash first starts. Exposing the rash to sunlight might remove it more quickly. But exposing your skin to the sun for a long time can lead to sunburn and increase the risk of developing skin cancer. If the rash persists for more than 3 months, contact your doctor.

To relieve itching at home:

  • Try to stay calm: Feeling very warm and sweating can exacerbate the rash and itching.
  • Avoid bathing in hot water: Keep the water as cool as you can tolerate it.
  • Add a handful of oatmeal (ground to a powder) to your bath. Or, you can try an oatmeal bath product, like Aveeno.
  • Try over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream for small itchy areas. Utilize the cream sparingly on the face or privates.

Note: Do not use the cream on children younger than 2 years unless your doctor tells you to. Do not use on the rectal or vaginal area in children younger than 12 years unless your doctor tells you to.

  • Try an over-the-counter antihistamine, such as an antihistamine like loratadine (Claritin) or one that might make you sleepy like diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Do not give antihistamines to your child unless you consult a doctor first.
  • Apply a moisturizer or calamine lotion to damp skin.
  • Use as little soap as possible: Use gentle soaps, such as Basis, Cetaphil, or Dove. Avoid deodorant soaps when you have a rash.

Is it possible to prevent pityriasis rosea?

There is no definitive protection against infection with pityriasis rosea, as the cause is not yet fully known.

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