I was just diagnosed with a skin disease that only localized in my shoulder area and upper abdominal area. My doctor says it is pityriasis rosea. I was wondering if you can give me some information on what I should do to take care of this problem.
Pityriasis rosea is a common skin disease. It occurs most commonly in young adults, primarily from agen 20 to 25.
Dermatologists have always liked to diagnose pityriasis: it is a mild condition, causing at most some itching; it virtually never relapses; it has no implications of other, more serious diseases; and it disappears in six to eight weeks, even without any treatment.
The condition is more common during the spring and the fall. Although many researchers have speculated that a virus infection is the cause of pityriasis, no infectious agent has ever been found; it is very uncommon for other members of the same household to come down with it, which would argue against person-to-person transmission. It is not sexually transmitted, and there is no reason to avoid close or intimate contact when one has it.
Pityriasis usually starts with a large oval, pink, slightly raised patch on the chest, back, or abdomen. This is called a herald patch and may not be noticed until the more widespread rash develops four to six days later. This rash consists of many smaller, oval patches that tend to develop along the natural folds of the skin on the trunk and abdomen, and the pattern is often described as resembling a Christmas tree on the back. The only serious condition that can be confused with pityriasis is the rash of the secondary stage of syphilis, and most doctors will recommend a blood test just to be sure that that serious and highly infectious disease is not present.
Treatment with small doses of antihistamines will usually control any itching. Sunbathing, either in natural sunlight or by using a UVB sunlamp, appears to hasten the disappearence of the rash, but since the rash itself doesn’t do anything to you, it’s really only for cosmetic purposes that one needs to treat it.