Many skin conditions can cause pink lesions or rashes on your skin, including pityriasis rosea. Here are four things you need to know about this skin condition.
What causes it?
Researchers still don't know what causes this condition, but they have some theories. There is some evidence that viruses like herpes may be linked to the condition. Fortunately, it isn't thought to be contagious. More research needs to be done to confirm the cause of pityriasis rosea.
Is it common?
Pityriasis rosea is very common in the general population of the United States. It's estimated to affect about 0.13% of women and 0.14% of men. People with this condition tend to be between 10 and 35 years old, though it can sometimes occur in people who are older or younger. The condition tends to occur either in the spring or in the winter.
What are the signs of this condition?
The first sign of pityriasis rosea is usually a single, pink patch on your skin. Dermatologists call this patch the "herald patch" because it heralds the start of the condition. Once it appears, the patch will get bigger and will develop a scaly surface and a darker pink or red border. In the next one or two weeks, a rash will appear in the vicinity of the herald patch. The rash will be scaly and may be itchy; some people mistake the spreading rash for insect bites.
Since this rash can look similar to other skin conditions such as eczema or ringworm, your dermatologist may need to perform tests to diagnose it. These tests may include blood tests or even removing a small piece of the rash for analysis.
Can it be treated?
This condition usually goes away on its own, so your dermatologist may recommend waiting to see what happens before trying any treatments. The rash will typically last for between six and eight weeks, though it may last for longer. If the rash doesn't go away on its own, or if the itching is unbearable, your dermatologist can give you prescription creams to ease your symptoms.
Once the rash is gone, you may notice freckle-like spots in the area. These spots will eventually go away as well, though it may take a few months. Once your skin has cleared, it's likely that you'll never experience the rash of pityriasis rosea again, though it can reoccur in rare cases.
If you think you have pityriasis rosea, see your dermatologist right away.Share
5 August 2015
My name is Katie Langer. For a long time, I was bed ridden and I felt like I had no control over my life. I simply went along with what was instructed by my doctor and I didn't ask questions. It wasn't that my doctor wasn't willing to work with me, but I preferred to simply not think about the illness I was suffering from. I didn't realize that some of the symptoms I was suffering from were side effects of my medication and were not normal. After communicating more with my doctor, I was able to alleviate my symptoms. Since then, I've taken an interest in patient-doctor relationships and how to improve them.