Pityriasis Rosea: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Pityriasis Rosea is the name of a skin disease which generally develops in the upper arms, thighs or necks, or around other parts of the body. Though the name of the disease terrifies one, it is not that terrifying and can be treated easily if diagnosed on time. It is a common disease which occurs among people within the age group of 10 to 35 years of age. The exact reason for this disease is unknown, but doctors believe that it is a kind of viral infection which appears in the human body. People should be aware of this disease. Some of the symptoms of this infection are discussed in the following section.

Symptoms of Pityriasis Rosea

  • Single patch of rash in the back or torso of a person’s body. It is called ‘herald patch’ or ‘mother patch’.
  • Headache, fever, or fatigue before a herald patch appears.
  • Mild intermittent itching.
  • The herald patch is 2 to 10 centimeter in an area which covers up in the back, stomach, neck or chest. Rarely, it can spread in the face, scalp or in the genitals.
  • The rashes develop from a couple of days to two weeks and can spread up to 12 weeks.

Complications :

Almost in every case, this infection is harmless, and it never returns once it is gone. If the infection is lasting for more than three months, the person should immediately consult a doctor. There may be some other conditions or reaction of some medicines which has resulted in a longer stay of the infection.

If a pregnant woman is suffering from this infection, she may have complications. As per the research, pregnant women being affected with it within the first 15 weeks suffered a miscarriage. Some had premature delivery while some had different problems before or after the birth of the baby. Thus, pregnant women should be careful while dealing with this infection during the initial stage before it is too late.

Some uncommon pityriasis rosea rashes can occur in a person’s body. Some are discussed below:

  • There can be an appearance of small bumps, bruising, blisters, weal-like patches
  • The occurrence of large patches which can combine or run into other areas of the body
  • Skin lesion’s unusual distribution, affecting the relaxed skin in the areas like armpits, breasts, and groin
  • There can be a mouth ulcer
  • There can be a large number of plagues than usual
  • Continuation of severe itching
  • Recurring of a disease number of times
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Causes of Pityriasis Rosea

American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) claims that it is not allergy or fungi and bacteria do not cause this. hence, some scholars suggest it is a kind of viral infection like herpesvirus 6 and 7 which causes the rashes. However, unlike other rashes which spread with physical contact with the infected person, pityriasis rosea is noncontagious.

Diagnosis of Pityriasis Rosea

A person suffering from any kind of unexplained itching and rashes should consult a doctor immediately.

The symptoms discussed above are of pityriasis rosea. Likewise, there are possibilities it might be due to some other skin disease. Few conditions that doctors consider are:

  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Tinea versicolor
  • Ringworm
  • Nummular dermatitis

If a doctor is still in doubt about the disease, he or she may refer the patient to a skin specialist (dermatologist).

Usually, a doctor tries to diagnose it on the basis of its occurrence on the body of a person, which contains large herald patch or like asymmetrical Christmas tree. Moreover, the herald patch can have a definite border with fine scale, which is called collarette. In order to find out any other kind of skin disease, the doctor might scrape the skin and examine it under a microscope to detect the fungus which might imitate pityriasis rosea. Rapid Plasma Reagent (RRR), is a blood test prescribed to find out secondary syphilis, similar to pityriasis rosea. In some cases, a skin biopsy may also be required to find out if there is any other kind of skin diseases.

Treatment for Pityriasis Rosea

Usually, this infection clears up within 12 weeks, without taking any medicines. There is no pain in the rashes but can be itchy and irritating. Good news is that this infection goes away easily and quickly. Some treatments include:

  1. Moisturizing and skin-soothing creams: Apply cream instead of soap to stop the irritation. These creams are easily available in the pharmacy.
  2. Ointments or steroid creams: Apply hydrocortisone or to reduce redness, swelling, and itching. It helps in reducing the discomfort caused by other skin conditions.
  3. Antihistamines: Doctors prescribe it to those who suffer from sleeping problems because of itching.
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Home Remedies for Pityriasis Rosea

Pityriasis Rosea

Some home remedies for treating this infection are:

  • Use coconut oil, neem, oatmeal, catechu paste, or aloe vera.
  • Take lukewarm water for a bath.
  • Avoid soaps that dries the skin.
  • Wear cotton clothes in order to reduce heat and avoid itching.
  • Exposing the body to the natural sunlight for 10 to 15 mins per day.
  • Calamine or menthol are some anti-itch creams which can be used.

Since the cause for this skin disease is unknown, there is no prevention to this disease. Follow the above tips to treat this infection at home, to get relief and cured quickly. Consult a doctor if the symptoms stills persists .


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