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Pityriasis Rosea

From the Colorado Dermatology Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Daily Do of Dermatology - Title

Video Transcript:

So here’s another daily tip from your friendly local dermatologist.

All right, you ready for your next ridiculous medical term? It’s Pityriasis Rosea. So this is a rash that we don’t really know what causes it, but we do know that it’s most prevalent or most likely to occur in the spring and in the fall, and we think it’s linked to a virus infection. So, we don’t really know the cause, but we do know the natural progression.

What usually happens is you get a herald patch or the first patch, and it looks kind of oval and it’s usually on the trunk somewhere, and you look at it and say, “Whoa, never had this oval patch before! I wonder what’s going on.” And then within a couple of days to a couple of weeks, all of a sudden you get a bunch more on your trunk. And they kind of look like the pattern of a Christmas tree, if you will, if you use your imagination, they kind of run down like this. Now all the other patches that follow this herald patch, they should be smaller than that, and it usually progresses for about three to eight weeks, and at some point you’re gonna say, “Whoa, this is gonna take over my whole body.” But usually it doesn’t, and usually in about three to eight weeks everything starts to go away on its own.

Now if there’s any question as to the diagnosis, please see your local dermatologist because Pityriasis Rosea, well, it can mimic a lot of different things. And also if you’re wondering, “Okay Reagan, that’s great, you don’t really know what causes it, you know when it happens, you know kind of what it looks like, well, how do you get rid of it quicker?” And most of the time we simply recommend that you do basic good cleansing, so five minute showers, warm water, pat dry after, and then put a good lotion on. That’s usually all we recommend.

But if you want it to go away quicker, you can talk to your local dermatologist about maybe going on an antibiotic. And I know you’re saying, “Well hold on now, you just told me it was probably viral.” And it is probably viral, but some of the anti-inflammatory properties of the antibiotics, well, sometimes they can speed this up. Sometimes some topical or even oral steroids can be used to speed the process up as well. But I’ll caution you, any treatment that we have to lessen the duration of this disease, sometimes it can backfire and actually make it worse.

And there are other modalities that your local dermatologist can talk to you about, if they’re appropriate for you. So remember, if you have any question as to the doubt of the diagnosis, please talk to your local dermatologist, and we’ll do everything we can to get you comfortable in your skin.

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