Pityriasis Rosea is mild  self limited skin condition seen predominantly in adolescents and young adults especially during spring and fall. It usually begins with a large, scaly, pink patch on the chest, abdomen or back then spread.  The patches are oval or round with a central, wrinkled, salmon-colored area and a dark red peripheral zone  that resembles the outline as of Christmas tree. It is frequently confused with ringworm, but antifungal creams do not help because it is not a fungus.

Although a viral origin has often been suggested, there has not been supporting laboratory evidence. So causes remains unknown. Some earlier study had suggested relation with human herpes virus-7 but  no serologic or tissue based evidence were found in patients with Pityriasis Rosea. Some drugs like  barbiturates, metronidazole, isotretinoin,  ketotifen,  bismuth, captopril, gold, organic mercurials and methoxypromazine may cause drug induced Pityriasis Rosea.

Pityriasis rosea does not spread from person to person and  usually occurs only once in a lifetime. Pityriasis Rosea may be asymptomatic, but many of the patients will experience itching, especially when they become warm. Other symptoms like fatigue and aching or upper respiratory infection might occur. The rash usually fades and disappears within six to eight weeks, but can sometimes last much longer.

As this disease is self limited, most of the patients doesn’t require treatment. Main treatment is focussed on controling itching. Anti-itch medications and soothing medicated lotions like topical zinc oxide and calamine lotion be applied. But if the disease is severe and widespread topical or oral steroids may be used. Some oral antiviral drugs like acyclovir and famciclovir and some antibiotic like erythromycin might reduce its duration if taken early to one to two weeks, but are not usually necessary as its self limited.Ultravoilet radiation therapy might be useful, but it may leave postinflammatory pigmantation at the site.

So just remember Pityriasis Rosea is a mild skin disorder which is self limited and do not usually needs treatment.If you have any queations regarding Pityriasis Rosea ask us at DermaTalk Skin Care Forums