Pityriasis Rosea

  • Medical Author:
    Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD

    Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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What home remedies can I use for pityriasis rosea?

Home remedies of pityriasis rosea include taking lukewarm baths or showers, avoiding drying soaps, wearing cotton or silk clothing to reduce heat, and taking oatmeal baths. Calamine or menthol lotions can also be helpful for itching. The following are additional home remedies:

  • Lubricating with bland moisturizers
  • Steroid creams (hydrocortisone cream)
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) oral pills or liquid for itching
  • Natural sunlight exposure to body parts, 10-15 minutes per day

Is pityriasis rosea dangerous during pregnancy?

If pityriasis rosea occurs early in pregnancy, within the first 15 weeks, there seems to be a greater chance of miscarriage. In addition, children of affected mothers may be prone to premature delivery. Since there little that can be done to prevent this disease or treat it, affected mothers are monitored closely for potential problems. Occasionally, health care professionals consider treatment with acyclovir.

Is it possible to prevent pityriasis rosea?

There is no definitive prevention for pityriasis rosea, as the cause is not yet fully known.

What is the prognosis for pityriasis rosea?

The prognosis for pityriasis rosea is excellent as the rash usually clears even without treatment within nine weeks.

It typically leaves no long-lasting scars, although some mild, temporary skin discoloration called post inflammatory hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation can occur in people with darker skin. It has no known long-lasting side effects and has not been associated with any other diseases.

Symptoms may be reduced with topical treatment or taking extra precautions to prevent overheating. Once a person has pityriasis rosea, they generally have lifelong immunity.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/18/2017

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