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Pityriasis rosea

Pityriasis rosea
Classification & external resources
An oval rash of Pityriasis Rosea
ICD-10 L42.
ICD-9 696.3
MedlinePlus 000871
eMedicine EMERG/426 

Pityriasis rosea is a skin disease marked by patches of pink, oval rash. Although its exact cause is unknown and its onset is not linked to food, medicines or stress, it is thought that this essentially non-contagious condition is set off by a virus. Pityriasis rosea can affect members of either sex of any age. However, it is most common in females and those between the ages of 8 and 35. Symptoms only recur in 3% of the affected.

Symptoms and Treatment

The symptoms of this condition include:

  • Pink and flaky oval-shaped rash, similar 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

These rashes are often found on the back, chest/stomach, inner thighs, inner upper arms and inner forearms. It has been seen occasionally on the palms of the hands. Usually it does not affect the face; however a few blemishes may be found on the cheeks.

In the majority of cases, there is no treatment as the disease is self-limiting. [1] Irritants such as soap, should be avoided. Topical calamine lotion and/or oral antihistamines can help with itching. In severe cases, topical or oral steroids may be used. UV therapy and exposure to sunlight may help in some cases.

See also

  • Ringworm
  • Pityriasis - for list of similarly named flaky skin conditions
  • Links to pityriasis rosea pictures (Hardin MD/Univ of Iowa)
  • Go Ask Alice Health Advice from Columbia University
  • American Osteopathic College of Dermatology

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Pityriasis_rosea". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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