What Is Pityriasis Rosea?
Pityriasis rosea is a common, mild skin disease. Characterized by scaly, pink, inflamed skin, the condition can last from one to three months and usually leaves no lasting marks. Some people experience moderate to severe itching.
What Causes Pityriasis Rosea?
The cause of this rash is not entirely known, but experts believe it is caused by a virus or bacteria. However, pityriasis rosea does not seem to be contagious.
The condition is more prevalent in spring and fall. It is usually seen in children, adolescents, and young adults. Some patients may have a cold before the rash. Most people with the rash are 10 to 35 years of age.
Signs and Symptoms of Pityriasis Rosea
Common symptoms of pityriasis rosea include:
- Appearance of a pink or tan-colored patch, sometimes called the "mother" or "herald" patch, on the chest, stomach or back
- Smaller, pink or tan, oval-shaped, "daughter" patches elsewhere on the body, usually the back, neck, arms, and legs, after 1 to 2 weeks
- Itching, sometimes severe
Treatment for Pityriasis Rosea
Your physician will determine your specific treatment for pityriasis rosea based on:
- Your age, overall health, and medical history
- Extent of the rash
- Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the rash
- Your opinion or preference
Although there is no cure for pityriasis rosea, it usually disappears on its own in about one to three months and usually does not return. At UCLA Dermatology, our physicians may prescribe treatments to relieve itching and other symptoms, including:
- Medicated lotions and creams
- Oral medications
- Cool baths with or without oatmeal
- Ultraviolet exposure
- Cool compresses
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (310) 825-6911.