- Feeling ill—You may feel ill like you are getting a cold just before the rash appears.
Having a herald patch—often the first lesion to appear.
- Large, oval, scaly patch that is often on the back, stomach, armpit, or chest.
- Lesions found on the back tend to form a “Christmas tree” pattern.
- More lesions that appear after several days.
Mild to severe itching of the lesions—not typically itchy, but may occur in some patients
- Itching worsens when the body overheats. This may happen during physical activities or after taking a hot shower.
- Skin redness or inflammation
- Feeling tired and achy
- Blood tests
- Skin scrape
- Skin biopsy —removal of a sample of skin tissue from the lesion to test for pityriasis rosea
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- Antihistamine pills
- Steroid pills
- Steroid creams or ointments
- Calamine lotion
- Avoid physical activities that can raise your body temperature. This can make itching worse.
- Avoid hot baths or showers. Oatmeal baths may also soothe the itching.
- Sunlight or medical treatment with artificial ultraviolet light may speed the healing process. Be careful to avoid sunburn.
American Academy of Dermatology http://www.aad.org
American Osteopathic College of Dermatology http://www.aocd.org
The College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
American Academy of Dermatology. Pityriasis rosea. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/m---p/pityriasis-rosea. Accessed August 6, 2012.
American Family Physician. Pityriasis rosea. American Family Physician website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/pityriasis-rosea.printerview.all.html. Accessed August 6, 2012.
American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Pityriasis rosea. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic%5Fdiseases/pityriasis%5Frosea.html. Accessed August 6, 2012.
DynaMed Editorial Team. Pityriasis rosea. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated January 2011. Accessed August 6, 2012.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods
- Review Date: 09/2012
- Update Date: 09/26/2012