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Pityriasis Rosea

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I have a skin rash that started in March 2012. I visited a dermatologist who said it was pityriasis rosea. i have be using steroids and this rash went away from my face but it seems to be appearing on my chest, neck and back. It is not as prominent as it was. It is at times itchy. Can Pityriasis rosea go on for close to 9 months?


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Category: Family Physician-GP
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Expert:  Dr. John Monheit replied 4 Days.

Thank you for consulting with us at Doctor spring. I understand that you are concerned about your skin condition which has was diagnosed 9 months back as Pityriaisis Rosea which seems to be coming back now.

Pityriasis Rosea is a self limiting skin condition which lasts only for a month to 2 months at the maximum. It is believed due to virus but the condition does not spread form person to person by touch i.e. it is not contagious. It usually affects individuals in the early teens and young adults. It consists of mildly itchy patches of skin.

Pityriasis Rosea first appears as a lesion called the Herald patch which is crucial for its diagnosis. The herald patch is the largest of the itchy patches and has a scaly margin. The lesions that follow are said to be arranged in a Christmas tree pattern on the back but none of the secondary lesions are either as large as or as itchy as the Herald patch. The lesions usually occur on the chest and abdomen and over the back. Rarely may it appear on the limbs only without being on the back or chest. Since the condition is self limiting, it requires only symptomatic treatment to relieve the itching.

So, from the above discussion it is evident that what you have now is not Pityriasis Rosea. Since it is not possible to make diagnoses of dermatological conditions without looking at the lesion, I cannot help you with more. Please visit your Doctor and get referred o a Dermatologist for further treatment. Hope this information was of use to you.


Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Experience: 
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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