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How to Heal Pityriasis Rosea

Updated February 21, 2019

Pityriasis rosea is a dermatological rash that and commonly occurs in children and young adults between the ages of 10 and 30. The rash generally starts with a large scaly spot on the back that appears either pink or red in colour. Within one to two weeks of this spot's appearance, more spots will appear on the arms, legs, back and neck, although rarely on the face. The spots are usually oval in shape and are very itchy. A dermatologist will determine if you have pityriasis rosea by looking at the rash, taking skin scrapings or drawing blood and sending these tests to a laboratory to diagnose the rash. Although there is no formal cure for pityriasis rosea, as its origins are unknown, there are ways you can stop the rash from itching and allow it to heal more quickly.

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  1. Take an oatmeal bath. To ease itching and promote healing, purchase oatmeal bath powder at your local drugstore or online. Draw a warm bath and place a packet of oatmeal bath powder into the water. Mix the water thoroughly with your hands. Soak your afflicted areas in the bathtub for approximately 20 minutes. Repeat as often as necessary to relieve itching.

  2. Rub hydrocortisone cream on the afflicted areas. You can purchase hydrocortisone cream at your local drugstore--it is used to prevent allergies and itching. Rub a quarter-sized amount of hydrocortisone cream on your rash with your fingertips until the cream has been completely absorbed into the skin. Repeat every few hours as necessary.

  3. Take benadryl. Benadryl is an antihistamine that will prevent itching and reduce swelling and redness. Take one benadryl with a full glass of water every four hours as needed for itching and swelling.

  4. Lie in the sun. According to the Mayo Clinic, exposing your pityriasis rosea rash to the UV rays of the sun can be beneficial. If you are sensitive to the sun, contact your doctor before exposing your skin to the sun for any amount of time.

  5. Consult your doctor. If you absolutely cannot stop itching, your doctor can prescribe a prescription cream to prevent itching until your pityriasis rosea heals. Although this prescription will likely not make your rash heal any faster, it may make you more comfortable while your rash is healing.

  6. Tip

    Use calamine lotion as needed to spot treat itching.


    If your symptoms include a fever, contact your doctor immediately.

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Things You'll Need

  • Oatmeal bath powder
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Benadryl
  • Water

About the Author

Megan Smith has been a freelance writer and editor since 2006. She writes about health, fitness, travel, beauty and grooming topics for various print and Internet publications. Smith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing from New York University.

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