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Pityriasis rosea

Written By northidahodpc

Pityriasis rosea

December 16, 2011

I have recently seen a few patients locally who have had a rash consistent with pityriasis rosea.  This is a benign condition that generally occurs during the winter months and tends to affect teenagers and young adults most often.  The cause is unknown.  It typically starts as a 2 to 10 centimeter scaly pink lesion called a herald patch, and then, up to 2 weeks later, a number of smaller similar appearing lesions develop, usually on the chest and back predominantly.  About half of the cases itch, and topical hydrocortisone and/or an oral antihistamine such as Benedryl can help.  The rash fades on its own, generally after 4 to 8 weeks.  Ultraviolet light may hasten resolution.  It is important to have a physician diagnose this rash, as ringworm, nummular eczema, guttate psoriasis, drug eruptions and secondary syphilis, among other conditions, can look quite similar…Richard R Samuel, MD     Family Practice and Urgent Care   Hayden, ID  USA

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