Pityriasis Rosea

Pityriasis rosea is a skin rash that can appear as a circular or oval spot. It usually occurs on your abdomen, chest, or back. It can affect a person of any age group. Though, it is most common in people between the age group of 10 - 35 years. The size of this spot can be up to 10 centimetres or 4 inches. You may experience itching due to pityriasis rosea. The exact cause is still not known but as per doctors, it is a viral disease. It is not a contagious disease. In most of the cases, there are no scars on the body after the process of healing. As soon as you experience the symptoms of pityriasis rosea, you should reach out to the best doctor for treatment. Your doctor will provide you with the best treatment as per your situation so that you can get the relief at the earliest. It is a common problem and can be treated easily. Generally, pityriasis rosea goes away within 10 weeks on its own. There are a lot of lifestyle and home remedies that help you to get relief from the discomfort of pityriasis rosea. Taking an oatmeal bath is one of the best remedy used to get relief from the symptoms of pityriasis rosea.

Symptoms

Pityriasis rosea starts with one patch on your torso or back. It is known as mother patch or herald patch. After one or two weeks of the appearance of herald patch, daughter patches appear on your back or chest. These are scaly and smaller patches generally look like a shape of a Christmas tree. The most common symptom of pityriasis rosea is a rash itself. People may experience itching due to exercising or exposure to heat. It has been reported that around 50 % people with pityriasis rosea experience itching. Flu-like symptoms can also be experienced by the people including fatigue, aching, nausea, decreased appetite, and sore throat, but these symptoms are rare.

Causes

The exact cause of pityriasis rosea is still not clear. But as per many doctors, a viral infection can be a cause of pityriasis rosea, particularly human herpes virus. It is not associated with the herpes virus that leads to varicella (chickenpox), oral herpes, or genital. Pityriasis rosea is not a contagious disease.

How is it diagnosed?

You should reach out to a dermatologist if your symptoms are bothering you or if you have a persistent rash on your body. A dermatologist is a skin specialist who treats the patient with a skin problem. Your dermatologist can easily tell by just having a look at your rash that you have pityriasis rosea. The patches of pityriasis rosea look like a Christmas tree. Your doctor may ask you to get a blood test, a biopsy, or a scraping done if required. These tests are conducted to recognise if you have another kind of skin problem including psoriasis, eczema, or ringworm. Sometimes, the condition of pityriasis rosea is confused with ringworm (tinea corporis). The first mother patch of pityriasis rosea looks very similar to the condition of ringworm in appearance. In psoriasis and eczema, also scaly patches appear that is why doctors sometimes confuse these conditions with pityriasis rosea. But the distribution of patches is different in pityriasis rosea in comparison to psoriasis and eczema. Doctors may misdiagnose the condition of pityriasis rosea as:

-  lichen planus

-  fungal infection

-  psoriasis

-  secondary syphilis

-  eczema

-  fixed drug eruption

-  drug eruption

-  pityriasis lichenoides chronic

Check out the various questions that your doctor may ask when you reach for a diagnosis:

-  When did you first notice the rash on your body?

-  Have you ever faced the similar problem in the past?

-  What are the various symptoms that you are experiencing?

-  Have your signs or symptoms developed over time?

-  Is there anything that is helping you with your symptoms?

-  Is there anything that seems to worsen your symptoms?

Prevention

Since the cause of pityriasis rosea is not known so it is not possible to prevent this condition. Though, many doctors think that it is a viral infection. So you can follow various tips that are used to prevent a viral infection. These tips include:

-  Wash your hands frequently, especially if you have come from outside or you are going to start a meal.

-  You should follow good hygiene practices.

-  You should cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing. You should be careful of aerosolized respiratory droplets when someone sneezes or coughs in front of you.

Treatment

Generally, the problem of pityriasis rosea does not require treatment as it resolves on its own. This problem generally goes away on its own within 6 - 9 weeks without any medical treatment. The treatment is required only if rashes cause serious symptoms. Check out various treatment options available for pityriasis rosea:

-  The most common symptom that is experienced by many people is itching. If you have itching then your doctor may recommend you to use topical steroid creams such as hydrocortisone cream and have oral antihistamines such as cetirizine (Zyrtec), diphenhydramine (Benadryl). This medication will reduce the itching that is bothering you but will not reduce the duration of pityriasis rosea. There are some over-the-counter medications including zinc oxide or calamine lotion that can be used to get relief from itching. An oatmeal bath is one of the best ways to get relief from itching. Taking lukewarm baths or showers will be of great help to treat itching.

-  In some circumstances, your doctor may ask you to have prescription medicines including corticosteroids which help to reduce swelling and itching. Acyclovir (Zovirax, Valtrex) may also be prescribed by your doctor to counter herpes.

-  Some doctors suggest the patients suffering from pityriasis rosea to get artificial or natural sunlight. It is believed that ultraviolet rays help to reduce the duration of the rash. But you should not forget the fact that light has its own risks and it can leave the dark spots on your body sometimes.

-  Off-label use of antiviral medications including famciclovir (Famvir) or acyclovir (Zovirax) and off-label use of the antibiotic erythromycin can help to reduce the duration of pityriasis rosea but there is a limited evidence of this.

-  You should not start taking any medicine without doctor’s prescription.

Medicines are not proved to be uniformly effective in case of pityriasis rosea. In fact, medicines are not generally required or necessary to treat pityriasis rosea.

Complications

In most of the cases, pityriasis rosea does not harm people and goes away on its own without any treatment. Generally, it does not return once it is gone. Check out various complications associated with pityriasis rosea:

-  Sometimes, pityriasis rosea can get serious. You must book an appointment with a dermatologist if you have pityriasis rosea for more than 3 months. There is a possibility that it can be some other condition or a reaction to certain medicines.

-  In some cases, pityriasis rosea can lead to severe itching due to which people have to immediately reach to a dermatologist for the treatment.

-  Pityriasis rosea can be a serious problem for pregnant women. If pregnant women get pityriasis rosea then should meet their doctor to get OB-GYN checked at once. As per a small study, it has been found out that a majority of pregnant ladies had miscarriages due to the rash in the initial 15 weeks of pregnancy period.

-  In most of the cases, there are no scars or spots after the healing process. But there is a possibility that people with dark skin may have brown spots after the healing process.

Conclusion

Pityriasis rosea is a skin rash that usually appears on your abdomen, chest, or back. In this, oval or circular spots appear that can be up to 10 centimetres or 4 inches in size. This problem is most common in the people between the age group of 10 - 35 years. The most common symptom of pityriasis rosea is the appearance of the rash. Sometimes, it can be accompanied by itching. The symptom of itching is common in around 50 % of people with pityriasis rosea. Fatigue, aching, nausea, decreased appetite, and sore throat is some of the symptoms of pityriasis rosea that occur rarely. These symptoms are similar to the symptoms of flu. Pityriasis rosea is a common problem and can be treated easily. Pityriasis rosea is not a contagious disease.

The exact cause of pityriasis rosea is still not clear but many doctors think that it is a viral infection, particularly human herpes virus. Since the cause is not known it is not possible to prevent pityriasis rosea. Viral infection can be a reason of pityriasis rosea so you can follow the tips of preventing a viral infection. Basically, you must follow good hygiene practices. You should wash your hands frequently especially before starting a meal, before preparing a meal, after using the washroom, and after coming from outside to avoid germs. You should avoid direct contact with those people who are ill. You should cover your mouth or nose when sneezing or coughing. You should also be careful when someone sneezes or coughs in front of you.

In most of the cases, pityriasis rosea does not require treatment as it resolves on its own. Generally, it goes away on its own within 6 - 9 weeks without any medical treatment. But sometimes you may need to visit a dermatologist when your symptoms get serious. Sometimes, you may suffer from severe itching or your pityriasis rosea stays for more than 3 months. These are the serious complications of pityriasis rosea which require immediate treatment. So you must visit your dermatologist if your symptoms get worse without any delay. Some people with dark skin may get brown spots after the healing process of pityriasis. It can be a serious problem for pregnant ladies.

Your doctor may recognise your problem by knowing your symptoms and having a look at the rash. Your doctor may recommend you to get some diagnostic tests including a blood test, a biopsy, or a scraping done if required. Sometimes, doctors confuse the condition of pityriasis rosea with psoriasis, eczema, or ringworm. There is no medicine that can help you to reduce the duration of pityriasis rosea. Your doctor may recommend you some medicines if you have the problem of itching. An oatmeal bath and lukewarm water showers are some of the best ways to get relief from itching. You should not take any medicine without doctor’s prescription.

If you are looking for the answers to various questions including:

-  What is pityriasis rosea? How long does pityriasis rosea take to go away?

-  What are the common signs or symptoms of pityriasis rosea?

-  What are the causes of pityriasis rosea?

-  How is pityriasis rosea diagnosed? Is pityriasis rosea misdiagnosed by the doctors?

-  How is pityriasis rosea prevented? What are the tips that one must keep in mind to prevent pityriasis rosea?

-  How is pityriasis rosea treated? What are some of the best medicines used to treat the problem of pityriasis rosea?

-  What are the various complications associated with pityriasis rosea?

Then you are in the right place. Please refer to the above-mentioned information to get answers to all your questions.

Last updated on : 14-09-2018

Disclaimer : Docprime doesn’t endorse or take any guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of information provided under this article and these are the views strictly of the writer. Docprime shall not be held responsible for any aspect of healthcare services administered with the information provided on this article.

Leave a Comment