What is it?
Pityriasis rosea is a mild skin rash with a pink, scaly and inflamed appearance. The condition is quite common, and it is not serious. It is most common in young adults.
The rash usually lasts between 1-3 months and leaves no permanent marks. However, people with dark skin may notice lasting brown spots after the rash has healed.
Once it’s gone, it doesnt usually come back.
What are the symptoms?
The first sign is usually a circular or oval patch on your chest, stomach or back. The patch is usually pink or tan.
Over the next couple of weeks, smaller pink or tan patches appear on areas such as your back, neck, arms or legs. The pattern of these patches can look like drooping pine-tree branches.
You may also notice that you:
- feel tired
- have aches and pains
- are itchy, sometimes severely
- Take over-the-counter allergy medicine (antihistamines). These include diphenhydramine (Benadryl, others).
- Bathe or shower in lukewarm water.
- Take an oatmeal bath. You can find oatmeal bath products at your pharmacy.
- Apply a moisturizer, calamine lotion or an over-the-counter corticosteroid cream.
Things to watch out for
GP should be contacted if there is an unexplained rash. Theyll usually be able to confirm whether its pityriasis rosea, or another skin condition such as eczema.