Pronounced: pit-IH-rye-ah-sis row-SEE-ah
Pityriasis rosea is a common skin rash. It occurs most often in children and young adults. The rash is scaly and reddish-pink. It may first appear on the back, stomach, or chest. The rash can then spread to the neck, arms, and legs.
The rash may last for several months. It will usually go away on its own. Talk to your doctor if you have a widespread rash.
The cause of pityriasis rosea is unknown. It may be caused by viruses or certain medicine, such as antibiotics or heart medications.
If you have any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to pityriasis rosea. They may be caused by other health conditions. Symptoms associated with pityriasis rosea include:
If symptoms last for more than three months, contact your doctor.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a doctor who specializes in skin disorders. A specialist can usually diagnose pityriasis rosea by looking at your rash.
There is no cure for pityriasis rosea. The rash will usually go away on its own. Treatment may be able to relieve some of the symptoms, such as itching. Treatment options include the following:
Medications to relieve itching and inflammation caused by pityriasis rosea include:
There is no known way to prevent pityriasis rosea. It does not spread from person to person. It is not likely to recur. This rash does not leave permanent marks. However, some people with dark skin may have some skin discoloration. This will usually fads with time.
American Academy of Dermatology
American Osteopathic College of Dermatology
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
American Academy of Dermatology. Pityriasis rosea. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aad.org.... Accessed August 6, 2012.
American Family Physician. Pityriasis rosea. American Family Physician website. Available at: http://familydocto.... Accessed August 6, 2012.
American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Pityriasis rosea. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aocd.or.... Accessed August 6, 2012.
DynaMed Editorial Team. Pityriasis rosea. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated January 2011. Accessed August 6, 2012.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Michael Woods