Pityriasis rosea is a skin problem causing rashes characterized by red scaly patches. This skin problem is benign and harmless but it can cause complications on pregnant women. It begins as one large sized lesion on the abdomen or chest area with size ranging from 6-10 cm. It looks like dragging pine tree branches on the skin. It largely targets people of age group 10-30. It looks ugly on your body and can cause itching. This skin disorder resolves on its own within few weeks.
Exact cause of pityriasis rosea is not known. But this is not caused by bacteria or fungal infection. It is a type of allergic reaction on the skin causing rash. It is believed to be triggered by viral infection in some cases. However this disorder does not spread from one person to another.
The rash usually begins as one medium sized raised patch on the skin. It can cause sore throat or fever in some people but the symptoms are not the same for all. The shape of the rash will be very much like pine tree branches. It can cause irritation on the affected area. Within few days there will be number of tiny red colored patches on the skin in the abdomen and chest. It may spread to arms and legs area also. These patches are vertical positioned with particular angle resembling tree branch. The rash will be on your skin for 6-10 weeks.
Your doctor can easily identify pityriasis rosea by physical examination of the rash. In case of doubt, your doctor will conduct Potassium hydroxide test to ensure that the rash is not caused by fungus.
Generally no treatment is required for pityriasis rosea since it will disappear on its own within few weeks. To prevent irritation, you can apply skin lotions and creams. Anti-inflammatory drugs can be used if the itching is severe. You need not take antibiotics since this type of rash is not caused by virus or bacteria.
Some believe that pityriasis rosea will fade quickly if it is exposed to sunlight but over-exposure can cause sunburn. If it does not wither away after 6 weeks you can consult your doctor for taking medicines.
Corticosteroids are prescribed for managing redness and itching sensation. Benadryl is effective for controlling allergic reaction.
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Keep the affected area cool. You can apply cold compression repeatedly to prevent dryness. Avoid hot water bath since it will worsen the condition.
Oatmeal bath is good for getting relief from itching. Use a clean wet cloth as cold compress on the chest and abdomen area and repeat this process many times a day. Avoid using soap when you have rashes. Wear cool cotton clothing and apply calamine lotion or moisturizing lotion on the skin to keep it wet.