Pityriasis Rosea (cont.)

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What is the treatment for pityriasis rosea?

Most cases of pityriasis rosea require no treatment and resolve spontaneously. Treatment is not necessary if the rash does not cause symptoms. Typically, pityriasis will usually clear on its own in nine weeks without medical intervention or therapy.

The most common symptom is itching, which can be treated with topical steroid creams (like hydrocortisone cream) and oral antihistamines (like diphenhydramine [Benadryl], loratidine [Claritin], etc.). These will not shorten the duration of the rash but will decrease the itching. Another treatment for itching is UVB light or sunlight. However, exposure to sunlight increases the risk of skin cancer. Generally, the best treatment is to avoid being overheated by reducing exercise and avoiding hot showers and baths.

There has been some evidence of reduced duration of pityriasis rosea with the off-label use of the antibiotic erythromycin or off-label use of antiviral medications such as acyclovir (Zovirax) or famciclovir (Famvir). However, neither of these medications has been proven to be uniformly effective in the treatment of pityriasis rosea and they are not usually necessary or required for treatment.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/29/2014

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