Pityriasis rosea is a rash that affects the midsection of young people and children. Its cause is unknown, though certain strains of the human herpes virus have been implicated. It usually goes away in 4-8 weeks. Half of those who suffer it had a respiratory infection preceding its appearance. This indicates that a normal, healthy immune system fights off what causes pityriasis rosea; therefore, getting rid of the respiratory problem may be the best strategy to quickly get rid of it. Itching and unsightliness are its unpleasant symptoms.
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See a doctor about getting medicine to speed the recovery. Antiviral drugs (acyclovir and famciclovir) or antibiotics (erythromycin) may reduce the duration to one or two weeks. The cause of pityriasis rosea is unknown, so whether to use a medicine that fights viruses or bacteria is unclear. However, since a strong immune system seems to be able to fight it, either type of medicine may be beneficial.
Use steroid creams, oral antihistamines (you'll need a prescription from your doctor) and light therapy (sunlight; tanning bed) to get rid of the itchiness.
Have a doctor examine the spots if you are unsure if pityriasis rosea is the right diagnosis. In the early stages, it resembles other skin diseases, such as ringworm, secondary syphilis and psoriasis. Learning that it's something other than pityriasis rosea can lead to faster treatment results.
Avoid strenuous exercise if sweating makes the itching worse.
Tips and warnings
- Contact your doctor if the rash hasn't gone away within three months.
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