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Medical Dermatology

Pityriasis Rosea

What is pityriasis rosea?

Pityriasis rosea is a rash that occurs most often in people between the ages of 10-35. It normally lasts for weeks or sometimes months. It often begins as a large pink patch called a “Herald patch”, usually found on the chest or back and often is mistaken for ringworm. As this condition progresses, more pink patches appear on other areas of the body, such as arms and legs. Normally this condition does not involve the face. Severe itching may accompany this condition and the patient may also experience fatigue and aching. It rarely occurs twice in the same individual.

What are the causes of pityriasis rosea?

The exact cause of pityriasis rosea is not known. It has been suggested that it may be caused by a virus due to the fact that the individual can feel slightly ill. Bacteria, fungus and allergy factors have all been ruled out as factors. There is no evidence that this condition spreads from person to person.

What is the treatment for pityriasis rosea?

Since the condition is often mild in nature, it may need not treatment. In cases in which symptoms become more severe, proper treatment would include:

  • Soothing medicated lotions to control itching
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Ultraviolet light treatments

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