Medical Definition of Pityriasis rosea

  • Medical Author:
    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.

Pityriasis rosea: A common mild rash of unknown origin that can appear on a person of any age (most commonly at 10-35 years of age). It may last from several weeks to a few months, often begins with a "herald" patch, a large single pink patch on the chest or back and, within a week or so, more pink papules appear on the torso, arms and legs. There may be itching, especially when overheated. Treatment may include medications for the itching and soothing lotions or lubricants, and lukewarm rather than hot baths. There is no specific therapy for this self-limited process.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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