Pityriasis rosea is a common, harmless skin rash that typically affects children and young adults. It usually lasts for about month or so, but could last longer.
The oval shaped patches typically appear on the abdomen, as see in the picture here, the chest, the back, the arms or the legs. It can also be found on the neck, but rarely will the face be affected. It may or may not be itchy, depending on the severity of the condition.
What causes pityriasis rosea?
Like so many other skin conditions, the exact cause of pityriasis rosea is unknown. It may be caused by a yet unidentified virus.
At its onset it is often difficult to diagnose as it mimics the appearance of ringworm or common eczema before it develops into its more recognizable form. Your doctor or dermatologist may order tests to rule out a fungal infection or some other skin condition.
What are the treatment options?
Nature always cures this disorder, although sometimes quite slowly and you may want to take action even though it is harmless.
The rash of pityriasis rosea is irritated by soap so try to bathe or shower with plain water. The rash also makes the skin dry so it helps to put a thin coating of bath oil on your freshly dried skin after a shower or bath. Some people have experienced relief by adding oatmeal powder to their bath every day.
If the rash itches, treatment with a cortisone cream usually brings prompt relief. The cortisone does not cure pityriasis rosea; it will only make you more comfortable while getting over the rash.
Sun exposure can actually help speed up recovery, but be careful not to overexpose yourself as we all know the dangers of too much sun.
Again, you do not need to treat pityriasis rosea. It will go away on its own, you just have to give it some time to heal.