Pityriasis Rosea - Dream Health

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Monday 13 July 2015

Pityriasis Rosea

Pityriasis Rosea – Common Skin Problem

Pityriasis rosea is a common skin problem which tends to cause a temporary rash and can take place at any age which is generally seen between the ages of 10 and 35. This ailment is usually harmless though it could cause rare and serious problems in pregnant women, like miscarriage or premature delivery. Pityriasis rosea appears as raised red scaly patches on the body which tends to be very itchy and usually clears off within 2 -12 weeks. In rare cases, it could even last for around 5 months.

This condition does leave any traces of scars, though some may tend to have discolouration of their skin being affected with this disorder which could last for a few months. In most cases a single pick or oval patch of scaly skin known as `herald patch’ is seen on the chest, tummy and the back around 5 – 15 days prior to the development of the rash. The cause of Pityriasis Rosea is not known but the possibility could be that the rash could be due to viral infection though there is no evidence, presently to support this claim. This disease is not contagious and does not spread to others on physical contact and the need to keep away from an infected individual does not arise.

Similar to Other Skin Conditions 

If one has a rash, it is advisable to consult your GP who could confirm if the person has pityriasis rosea or other ailments like psoriasis, eczema or fungal skin infection.In case of uncertainty, one could check with a dermatologist. If one develops soreness or blister, or if the eyes, genitals or mouth tend to get affected, medical helps need to be taken immediately since this could be a serious condition. In several cases, this disorder clears away without much treatment and the rash generally disappears within 12 weeks and at times may last for 5 months. The rash often starts with a single oval or round, pink patch which is scaly having a raised border or herald patch.

The size could range from 2 cm to 10 cm though larger patches are also common. Thereafter, salmon coloured oval patches tend to appear in batches on the abdomen, chest, arms, back and legs of about 1 cm and at times could also spread to the neck though rarely to the face. The patches on the back are generally vertical and angled to form a `Christmas tree or fir tree appearance. There could be mild itching for about half of the people suffering from this rash.
Treatment – Moisturisers/Steroid Creams

In some cases, the rash could take other forms and rounded bumps or popular rash may appear in the case of children, pregnant women and people having dark skin. In young children and infants, blisters may appear while in some people the herald patch could appear or two herald patches may be seen close together. Prior to the herald patch, one may tend to feel exhausted as though suffering from a cold and may also suffer from nausea, headache, sore throat and loss of appetite.

The rash seems to be similar those seen in several other skin conditions which may include tinea versicolor, ringworm, eczema etc. Rash similar to pityriasis rosea could also be due to syphilis as well as certain medicines like antibiotics. To relieve the itching sensation, emollients or moisturisers, steroid creams and antihistamines could be used.

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