Pityriasis Rosea

Pityriasis Rosea

Pityriasis rosea is a skin disease characterized by a red or pink rash . The rash that appears is scaly and slightly raised , and can be accompanied by itching.

Pityriasis rosea can happen to anyone, but it is more common in people aged 10–35 years. This condition is classified as a non-communicable disease and can generally heal by itself.

Causes of Pityriasis Rosea

The cause of pityriasis rosea is not known with certainty. However, this condition is thought to be caused by a viral infection, especially the herpes virus group . Pityriasis rosea generally occurs in summer.

Risk factors for pityriasis rosea

It is not yet known whether there are factors that can increase a person's risk of experiencing pityriasis rosea. However, this condition is more common in people aged 10–35 years.

In addition, research says that people who suffer from autoimmune diseases are also susceptible to pityriasis rosea. Autoimmune disease itself is a condition when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells.

Symptoms of Pityriasis Rosea

The main symptom of pityriasis rosea is a skin rash that can appear anywhere on the body. Sometimes, the rash that appears is similar to a rash from syphilis or ringworm (tinea). In some people, the rash that appears can form a pattern like a Christmas tree.

Some of the characteristics of pityriasis rosea rash are:

  • Oval-shaped with a size of 2–10 cm
  • Reddish or pink in color
  • Scaly
  • Slightly stand out

This characteristic rash is also known as the herald patch . This rash will spread to several parts of the body, such as the stomach, chest, back, neck, thighs and upper arms. Apart from the herald patch , other smaller rashes will appear, which are around 0.5–1.5 cm, and itchy.

A pityriasis rosea rash can last from 2–12 weeks to 5 months. After the rash clears, the area of ​​skin affected by this disease may be darker than the surrounding skin, but will return to normal after a few months without causing scars.

Before the rash appears, sufferers of pityriasis rosea will usually feel symptoms in the form of:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weak
  • Sore throat
  • Joint pain
  • Sleep disorders
  • Headache

When to see a doctor

Check with your doctor if you experience the complaints mentioned above. Early detection and treatment are expected to relieve complaints that often cause discomfort.

If you have been diagnosed with pityriasis rosea, follow the recommendations and therapy given by the doctor. If necessary, the doctor will ask you to periodically control so that your condition can be monitored.

Diagnosis of Pityriasis Rosea

As a first step, the doctor will conduct questions and answers about the patient's complaints and medical history. After that, the doctor will examine the patient's skin to see the characteristics of the rash that appears.

The diagnosis will be clearer when the rash that appears has spread. If a new herald patch appears , the rash is similar to other skin diseases, such as a fungal infection or eczema , even a rash in syphilis.

Generally, doctors can already diagnose pytriasis rosea through questions and answers and by looking at the rash directly. However, if another disease is suspected, there are several supporting examinations that can be carried out by a doctor, namely:

  • Blood tests , to detect whether the rash is caused by an infectious disease, including syphilis
  • KOH test, to find out whether the rash is caused by a skin fungal infection, by taking a skin scraping sample
  • Skin biopsy , to detect whether there is an abnormal growth of tissue in the skin, by taking a small sample of the skin

Treatment of Pityriasis Rosea

Pityriasis rosea is a condition that generally does not require special treatment and can go away on its own within 12 weeks. However, if the condition does not improve within that time, or if the symptoms are very disturbing, then treatment is needed by a doctor.

Treatment of pityriasis rosea aims to reduce symptoms and prevent complications. The following are methods of treating pityriasis rosea:


There are several types of drugs that doctors can prescribe to relieve the symptoms of pityriasis rosea, namely:

  • Emollient based moisturizers, such as glycerol
  • Calamine lotion
  • Topical corticosteroid medications, such as hydrocortisone
  • Antihistamines , such as chlorpheniramine (CTM), or hydroxyzine
  • Antivirals, such as acyclovir

The drugs above can speed up healing time, especially if given at the start of the disease.

Ultraviolet light therapy

If pityriasis rosea has entered a fairly severe stage, the doctor will usually advise the patient to do ultraviolet light therapy. This treatment is known as UVB phototherapy (PUVB). UV light therapy can help reduce symptoms and help the rash go away more quickly.

Self care

Apart from undergoing treatment from a doctor, sufferers of pityriasis rosea are also advised to do treatment at home by:

  • Always use moisturizer
  • Take medication according to doctor's advice
  • Take a shower using cold water
  • Compress the rash with cold compresses
  • Soak in a special oatmeal mixture ( colloidal oatmeal )
  • Avoid exposure to hot sunlight

Pityriasis rosea complications

Although pityriasis rosea can heal by itself, this skin disease can cause discomfort and reduce the sufferer's self-confidence. If not treated properly, pityriasis rosea can cause dark discoloration of the skin after it heals.

Although rare, pregnant women who suffer from pityriasis rosea, especially in the first 15 weeks of pregnancy, are at risk of having a miscarriage. Therefore, pregnant women are advised to carry out routine checks to the obstetrician regularly, in anticipation of diseases that can harm the fetus.

Prevention of Pityriasis Rosea

Pityriasis rosea cannot be prevented. However, if you experience the symptoms of pityriasis rosea, consult a doctor immediately. That way, the doctor can provide the right treatment according to the condition you are experiencing.

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