Pityriasis Rosea

By Monday, October 8, 2012 30 , , Permalink 0

Pityriasis Roseapih-tih-RY-uh-sus ROH-zee-uh. In one word: sucks. I have been meaning to share this with you but somehow couldn’t find the guts to do so. You see, whenever someone mentions the word rash the first thing to come to mind is some medical condition that is flat out gross. It looks gross, it feels worse, and it can make someone extremely self conscious.

So after some time contemplating this post I am just going to go for it. So bare with me…Oh, and also, this is not for the squeamish.

Here goes nothing. A few days back I was diagnosed with Pityriasis Rosea.

 

What is Pityriasis Rosea?

Pityriasis Rosea is a common viral rash which often presents itself on the torso. Just like chicken pox, Pityriasis Rosea begins as a large single pink patch which is called a “herald” or “mother” patch. I got mine on the face which on itself is quite rare. At first I thought it was a rather unusual kind of rectangular patch of dry skin so I gave not much attention to it other than moisturizing it a few times a day.

 

From PDX with Love // Pityriasis Rosea

{Silly and useless fact: I now have had 2 herald patches on my face; Chicken Pox and Pityriasis Rosea}

About a week later I started noticing a few patches on my neck. Once the spots started spreading I completely lost it. As a mother my first thought went straight to the worse answer: skin cancer. I was convinced I had some sort of cancer, or Boden Disease. I thought I had a bad (and new) allergy. But after some research it simply did not make sense. I am not one to lay under the sun for a whole day, I would simply get bored to death. So after a whole day in front of the computer I found about Pityriasis Rosea.

Once the spots started spreading all over my torso I freaked out once more and was convinced, once more, that I was going to die of cancer. So I went to the doctor and he told me what it was: Pityriasis Rosea.

 

Why does Pityriasis Rosea suck?

Well, it is uncomfortable as can be, at least in my case. The spots hurt, specially when the body temperature raises.

Usually the spots present themselves on the torso but can also be seen on legs, arms, neck, and, extremely rarely, on the face.

 

From PDX with Love // Pityriasis Rosea

Pityriasis rosea is often called the “Christmas Tree” rash since it often looks like an outline of a Christmas Tree. And just to prove medicine wrong, my rash is all over the place, specially right under my bra band (under my armpits) and on my neck, chin, and jawline.

When my body gets heated the spots get itchy and I fell quite uncomfortable. I can’t take a hot shower without going insane thanks to the itchiness. I can’t play with my boys for too long without starting to feel anxious at how uncomfortable and painful it gets. The spots around my neck/jaw line are itchy 24/7. I often have to pace around my house sort of smacking my skin; I don’t want to itch the spots but they are making me so anxious which is causing me to be short tempered.

 

From PDX with Love // Pityriasis Rosea

I am just on week 3. This could last for quite a few more weeks. It truly sucks that I can’t do much for this to go away but to apply Calamine.

 

Pityriasis Rosea: Facts.

  • It often occurs in people aged 10-35, and is extremely rare to see it in younger kids.
  • It is not contagious.
  • It presents itself either during the beginning of Autumn or Spring.
  • It usually leaves no permanent marks.
  • The herald spot is often mistaken to be a ringworm.
  • Pityriasis Rosea is caused by a virus and not a fungus.
  • It is unknown where exactly the Pityriasis rosea virus comes from. Most patients have presented cold or even pneumonia symptoms prior to getting Pityriasis rosea.
  • There is no treatment for it. Calamine is often prescribed to help ease the itch.
  • It is rarely seen on the neck. It is even rarer to be seen on the face.
  • Pityriasis rosea is not a sign of any internal disease.
  • Pityriasis rosea most often last 4-8 weeks. Symptoms may disappear by 3 weeks or last as long as 12 weeks. There have been cases where it lasts for up to 6 months.
  • Like any other virus, Pityriasis rosea only presents itself once.
  • It sucks! It hurts. And it looks even worse!

 

Which has been the weirdest medical condition you have had or have heard of? 

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30 Comments
  • mel
    October 8, 2012

    Wow- this is a very apropro post because my good friend was just telling me she had this today. I am going to forward her this article bc it is very informative. Thanks!

    • Sofia
      October 8, 2012

      I hope this helps her!! Also, let her know that she should try to go tanning. I’ve read many posts of people who went tanning to kill the virus and it works!! 😀

  • kim
    October 8, 2012

    Yuck!! so sad. Thank goodness I don’t suffer from that. My mom has shingles and that about put her out for months. Thanks for sharing Sofia.

    • Sofia
      October 8, 2012

      I second that: YUCK!! Thankfully this is a once in your life deal.

  • Michele Clarke
    October 8, 2012

    WOW I fell for you! Three years ago my son was 5 months old. It was the beginning of fall. I started to develop what looked like heat rash. It was all over my tummy and thighs. I felt my body over heating. It went away near winter. Then spring it was back. I still don’t know what it is. It’s milder than what you have. I recently made my own lotion containing extracts for itchy skin. I have a few bumps on my shoulders that are healing nicely now.

    I hope you find some comfort.

    • Sofia
      October 9, 2012

      I dunno if what you have is the same thing since Pityriasis Rosea is a one time deal. Could be, I dunno. So far all I’ve done is use Calamine and it has helped ease the pain and itch a lot!! Now the rash is creeping on my face…argh!

  • Heidi (@MamaNibbles)
    October 8, 2012

    My husband suffers from psoriasis and it can get really bad just like yours. I can only imagine what your rash must feel like. 🙁

    • Sofia
      October 8, 2012

      It is beyond uncomfortable…and my neck area is painful! I am trying a UV treatment (aka tanning) and hopefully this will kill the virus!

  • Pam Bracey
    October 8, 2012

    Thank you for your bravery in sharing this! My good friend and neighbor was just showing me something on her torso that looks just like this a few days ago. I know she’ll appreciate this article 🙂

    • Sofia
      October 8, 2012

      I hope this helps her too!! And just to make sure, tell her to go see a doctor. The patches could also be Psoriasis, they look very similar. Plus, a doctor could prescribe a topical creme for the itchiness.

  • Tammy Lyne
    October 8, 2012

    Oh you poor thing! Have you tried soaking in an oatmeal bath? I wonder if dramamine would help..I am allergiv to everything, even my husbands kisses and I hate that itchy feeling 🙁

    • Sofia
      October 8, 2012

      Well, I can’t really take hot baths, it hurts. The rash is viral so thankfully it will be a one time only deal (phew!) I don’t think I could deal with Pityriasis Rosea once a year…I would go nuts!

  • Angela Kinder
    October 8, 2012

    I think Benadryl might actually help. My mom suffered from Rosacea when she was in her 30s/40s and found something similar helped with the itching. Also a tincture made from either witch hazel, plantain, comfrey, lavender, or even St. John’s wort might help. I hope you feel better!

    • Sofia
      October 8, 2012

      Isn’t Benadryl for allergies? I think my mother in law recommended the same thing, but the no dose kind. I will give this a try. Thanks for the tip!

  • Amber Edwards
    October 8, 2012

    oh my goodness, I’m so so very sorry! It looks quite painful. I would be crying the entire time! I hope your symptoms go away much sooner than later.

    Try essential oils for the itching as well. Lavander and others are known to help sooth itching, although I don’t think they will take it away completely.

    • Sofia
      October 8, 2012

      Ooh, I am so trying Lavender to help ease the itch!! I am on the border of an anxiety attack….it hurts and I don’t want to itch! Aaaah…

  • Trisha G.
    October 8, 2012

    My mom actually had this a few weeks ago. It’s funny because before she had it, I had never heard of it. I just checked with my mom, she said it started to go away by the 4th week. I hope yours goes away soon!

    • Sofia
      October 8, 2012

      Did she do anything? I have a second session at a tanning salon today hoping it will help kill the virus. What did she do?! (sorry, I am going insane here!)

  • Flora
    October 8, 2012

    I honestly hope you feel better soon, because as a child I would get a rash very much like this one every spring and fall. The condition didn’t improve until I was nearly 25, the year before it was so bad I had to get a prescription for topical steroids from my dermatologist. Now I only notice a hint of it here and there, but it has made me pay more attention to what I allow my skin to come in contact with, even clothing.

    • Sofia
      October 8, 2012

      I am glad the allergy rash is finally gone! Or at least less noticeable. Mine is just so painful and I am so glad it is a one time deal. Phew!

  • Diane @ Me, Him And The Cats
    October 8, 2012

    My family history is like an episode of House! The frequently mention Lupus, Sarcoidosis and Amyloidosis. All 3 are in my family!

    • Sofia
      October 9, 2012

      I once dated a guy with a mild case of Lupus. Anywho, so far, I’m the one that takes the trophy in weirdest condition in my family!

  • Tiffany
    October 8, 2012

    Oh my gosh! It looks so uncomfortable! I hope the dermatologist can do something about it so you can have some relief.
    Thanks for the info on it, though. I had never heard of it!

    • Sofia
      October 9, 2012

      All there is to do is put Calamine on…and be patient. :S

  • Lorrie Rodgers (pinklady705)
    October 8, 2012

    I actually had this rash when I was in my mid-twenties. I had the more textbook version, in fact, the Dr. asked if a resident could come in the room to look at the rash and it’s location. I remember it feeling itchy, but I was more bothered by it when someone thought it looked like ringworm (kind of freaked me out). It is strange that there is so little known about this rash, but I can say I have never had again and has become a distant memory as far as anything I have ever encountered.

    Based on your photos and description, I’d say your case must be more severe. I hope it goes away soon and hopefully you will be able to relax now that you know what it is and hopefully feel some degree of comfort in knowing you are not alone and that the rash should leave no lasting marks and hopefully no long-lasting memory either.

    Thanks for being brave enough to share this.

    • Sofia
      October 8, 2012

      Before going to the doctor I was seriously freak out. I am truly surprised that doctors don’t even know where it comes from, or how to treat it, or practically nothing about it. I think I might have a severe case too…the rash is starting to show on my face; pretty soon I’ll be hiding at home. It is nice to know there’s other that have gone through this…and hopefully this will all be over soon!!

  • S.O.S. Mom
    October 22, 2012

    Oh my lordie! that is awful and looks so uncomfortable. I have eczema on my fingers following the birth of my son and that can be REALLY painful and annoying sometimes (to say the least).

  • Nikiah
    November 10, 2012

    Am going this this right now, I’m in my third week, and it’s on my face, and whole body. The doctor told me it’s nothing for me to do, I I just don’t want it to cover my whole face. People at school starting to notice it, and I’m getting really self conscious.

  • erin
    November 28, 2012

    I just found out i have this super annoying and ugly rash too. Its only been 8 days and i’m going crazy. I just did my second round of “UV” therapy and afterward my arms and body itch like crazy. I feel like its not helping rather making it worse,but everyone says it does. Did you feel like that after tanning? When and how did you feel like the tanning was helping? I seriously will do ANYTHING for this to be gone.

    • Sofia
      December 1, 2012

      During and after tanning (which I only did once) some of the rash spots kind of burned and where very uncomfortable. Thankfully mine are almost gone, with a few on my arms. Use lotion. My husband got me an Eczema medicated lotion which made them smaller and less irritable.