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Pityriasis Rosea - Symptoms & Treatment


Pityriasis rosea is a common, harmless skin rash disease that causes scaly patches that sometimes itch over the torso, neck, arms and legs.Pityriasis rosea is a rash of unknown cause which lasts about six weeks. Anyone can get it, but it is most common in people ages 10 to 35. Usually there are no permanent marks as a result of this condition, although some darker-skinned persons may develop long-lasting flat brown spots that eventually fade. Usually there are no permanent marks as a result of this disease, although some darker-skinned persons may develop long-lasting flat brown spots. The skin rash follows a very distinctive pattern. In 3/4 of the cases, a single, isolated oval scaly patch (the "herald patch") appears on the body, particularly on the trunk, upper arms, neck, or thighs.

Symptoms of Pityriasis Rosea

The main symptoms of pityriasis rosea are the appearance of the herald patch followed by a more diffuse rash of smaller patches. Pityriasis rosea usually begins with a large, scaly, pink patch on the chest or back, which is called a "herold" or "mother" patch. It is frequently confused with ringworm, but antifungal creams do not help because it is not a fungus. The symptoms of this condition include:

  • Pink and flaky oval-shaped rash, not dissimilar to ringworm
  • A single "herald" patch may occur 1 to 20 days before smaller, more numerous patches of rash. It has also been known for the "herald" patch either not to be noticed or not to exist. Other "herald" patches may appear as a cluster of smaller oval spots rather than a single patch.
  • Often occurs in patches arranged in a triangular pattern, like a "Christmas tree"
  • 25% of people with Pityriasis Rosea get mild to severe itching. This fades as the rash develops
  • May be accompanied by headache , fever , nausea and fatigue
  • Other less common symptoms include reduction in sweat gland activity and the clearance of acne .
  • Skin lesion or rash
    • Starts with a single (herald) lesion
    • Followed several days later by more lesions
    • May follow cleavage lines or appear in a "Christmas tree" pattern
    • Oval plaque, papule , or macule
    • Sharp border
    • May spread
    • Centers have wrinkled (cigarette paper) appearance
    • The lesions appears like a scale that is attached at the edges and loose at the center
  • Ithing of the lesions (mild to severe)
  • Skin redness or inflammation.

Causes of Pityriasis Rosea

Pityriasis Rosea are affect the following causes. These are :

  • PR is similar to infectious exanthems in that it occurs in clusters among contacts, has a seasonal predilection to spring and autumn, and has a low rate of recurrence (3%).
  • The cause of pityriasis rosea is unknown. It may be caused by a yet unidentified virus.
  • No bacteria, virus, or fungus has been isolated as a definite causal agent, although HHV-6 and HH-7 may play a role.
  • Drugs such as bismuth, barbiturates, captopril, gold, organic mercurials, methoxypromazine, metronidazole, D-penicillamine, isotretinoin, tripelennamine hydrochloride, ketotifen, and salvarsan have been implicated in causing drug-induced PR.
  • There is recent evidence suggesting that it may be caused by a virus since the rash resembles certain viral illnesses, and occasionally a person feels slightly ill for a short while just before the rash appears.
  • Atopy, seborrheic dermatitis, acne vulgaris, and dandruff are more common in patients with PR than in control subjects.

Treatment of Pityriasis Rosea

The Treatment of Pityriasis Rosea are :

  • Nature always cures this disorder, sometimes slowly.
  • If symptoms are mild, no treatment may be needed.
  • The rash of pityriasis rosea is irritated by soap; bathe or shower with plain water. The rash makes the skin dry; it helps to put a thin coating of bath oil on your freshly dried skin after a shower or bath.
  • Aveeno oatmeal baths, anti-itch medicated lotions and steroid creams may be prescribed to combat the rash. Lukewarm, rather than hot, baths may be suggested.
  • If the rash itches, treatment with a cortisone cream usually brings prompt relief. The cortisone does not cure pityriasis rosea; it will only make you more comfortable while getting over the rash.
  • Ultraviolet light treatment or phototherapy may shorten the duration of the condition and may be prescribed for extensive and persistent cases of pityriasis. Corticosteroid creams may also be prescribed to relieve the itching
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