Learn About Pityriasis Rosea

What is the definition of Pityriasis Rosea?

Pityriasis rosea is a common type of skin rash seen in young adults.

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What are the alternative names for Pityriasis Rosea?

Rash - pityriasis rosea; Papulosquamous - pityriasis rosea; Herald patch

What are the causes of Pityriasis Rosea?

Pityriasis rosea is believed to be caused by a virus. It occurs most often in the fall and spring.

Although pityriasis rosea may occur in more than one person in a household at a time, it is not thought to spread from one person to another. Females seem to be more affected than males.

What are the symptoms of Pityriasis Rosea?

Attacks most often last 4 to 8 weeks. Symptoms may disappear by 3 weeks or last as long as 12 weeks.

The rash starts with a single large patch called a herald patch. After several days, more skin rashes will appear on the chest, back, arms, and legs.

The skin rashes:

  • Are often pink or pale red
  • Are oval in shape
  • May be scaly
  • May follow lines in the skin or appear in a "Christmas tree" pattern
  • May itch

Other symptoms may include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Mild fever
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What are the current treatments for Pityriasis Rosea?

If symptoms are mild, you may not need treatment.

Your provider may suggest gentle bathing, mild lubricants or creams, or mild hydrocortisone creams to soothe your skin.

Antihistamines taken by mouth may be used to reduce itching. You can buy antihistamines at the store without a prescription.

Moderate sun exposure or ultraviolet (UV) light treatment may help make the rash go away more quickly. However, you must be careful to avoid sunburn.

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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Pityriasis Rosea?

Pityriasis rosea often goes away within 4 to 8 weeks. It usually doesn't come back.

When should I contact a medical professional for Pityriasis Rosea?

Call for an appointment with your provider if you have symptoms of pityriasis rosea.

Pityriasis rosea on the chest
What are the latest Pityriasis Rosea Clinical Trials?
Serum 25(OH) Vitamin D and Total Serum Immunoglobulin E Levels in Patients With Pityriasis Alba

Summary: Pityriasis alba (PA) is a common, benign skin disorder occurring predominantly in children and adolescents. It is characterized by ill-defined hypopigmented macules and patches, round or oval in shape. They are most commonly located on the face (especially the cheeks), arms, and upper trunk; and they are more noticeable in people with darker skin types. Sun exposure accentuates the lesions. Patien...

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What are the Latest Advances for Pityriasis Rosea?
Pityriasis rosea Gibert triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection: A case report.
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Interventions for pityriasis rosea.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: October 10, 2020
Published By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Dinulos JGH. Psoriasis and other papulosquamous diseases. In: Dinulos JGH, ed. Habif's Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide in Diagnosis and Therapy. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 8.

James WD, Elston DM, Treat JR, Rosenbach MA, Neuhaus IM. Pityriasis rosea, pityriasis rubra pilaris, and other papulosquamous and hyperkeratotic diseases. In: James WD, Elston DM, Treat JR, Rosenbach, MA, Neuhaus IM, eds. Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 11.