What is Pityriasis Rosea?
This is a skin condition that has a distinctive spotty rash that appears to sweep out over your body but it is not contagious or harmful. It will usually appear between the ages of ten and thirty. Many times in the early stages it is a skin condition that is misunderstood because dermatologists may often suspect other skin conditions to be cause of this rash like eczema, folliculitis, and psoriasis. A common time for a person to get pityriasis rosea is in the spring and fall.
There are three stages of pityriasis rosea which are:
- Stage 1 – this is considered the elementary stage where your skin surface does not have any major symptoms but is itchy.
- Stage2 – at this stage you will start to feel excessively itchy especially if you are under stressful condition or have just been exercising. At this stage your dermatologist may think it is an eczema attack or a developing rash because you skin has become dry due to a change in the weather.
- Stage 3 – this is when the rash has really begun to take over your body.
What are the Symptoms of Pityriasis Rosea?
When the rash first appears they are usually scaly and wrinkled with crisp edges and appear reddish. The symptoms that are associated with pityriasis rosea depend which stage it is in.
Stage 1 : the first symptom at this stage are skin bumps that are in a distributed or collective manor. At first you may be think that they are insect or mosquito bites.
Stage 2 : in this stage your skin will appear dry, rough, and scaly and you make also have white patches. These white patches will give your skin that look that you normally see during the winter time.
Stage 3 : this is when you will start to develop spot like patches on your arms and legs and into your stomach area.
Other symptoms that you could have with pityriasis rosea can include:
- Skin that looks crinkled
- An increase in skin sensitivity
- When the rash is concentrated at one place it could resemble a ringworm
- Boils and papules may appear on your skin
- Scratchy throat
- A slight rise in temperature
What exactly causes pityriasis rosea is not exactly known. It is thought by researchers that it is caused by a viral infection because of the number of viruses where you develop a rash as one of the symptoms of that virus. There are some who develop pityriasis rosea after having a respiratory infection.
Treatment for Pityriasis Rosea
Most of the time pityriasis rosea will resolve on its own without any treatment within eight to ten weeks but there are some treatments that can be done to help make you feel more comfortable. In stage two your dermatologist may give you some creams to help soothe the symptoms, especially the itchiness. Your dermatologist may have you use over-the-counter or give you a prescription for topical steroid creams like hydrocortisone cream and anti-itch medications like calamine lotion. Soaking in a soothing oatmeal bath can also help with not only the itching but can also lift away the dead skin. You should keep from scratching or picking at the areas because this can cause your skin to open up and create lesions where you can let bacteria into your body. It can also lead to scars developing. Do not use soap that contains alcohol because these can dry out your skin.
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