Pityriasis Rosea is a common viral disease that affects younger people, usually between 10-35 years of age. It occurs equally between men and women and has no racial predominance. It causes a rash that lasts up to 10 weeks but generally doesn’t recur more than once in a lifetime.
This rash usually begins as a single scaling bump or patch and then extends to cover much of the torso with hundreds of scaling spots that are elliptical in shape. They are associated with the modest itching which only occasionally requires treatment. The condition usually lasts about nine weeks in total. Blood testing may be required to diagnosed pityriasis rosea.
What Causes It?
The cause of pityriasis rosea is unknown but has more recently been linked with a virus from the human herpes family (although not the common types of virus that causes genital herpes, oral herpes, or chickenpox). Although it is not known how the virus spreads, respiratory contact has been suspected. It does not seem to be unusually contagious.
Pityriasis rosea typically requires no treatment and resolves on its own within 6-9 weeks. Treatment is not necessary if the rash does not cause significant symptoms, however, your dermatologist can prescribe topical steroid creams or oral antihistamines to alleviate the itching. Although they don’t decrease the duration of the rash, they will make the symptoms more tolerable. Your doctor may also prescribe ultraviolet light (UVB) therapy or sunlight as a treatment. During the outbreak, you should avoid becoming overheated by reducing exercise and avoiding hot showers and baths, which can exacerbate the itching feeling.