A rash of oval, pink, flat spots, most commonly affecting the trunk and limbs
Pityriasis rosea produces a mild, pink rash. The condition most commonly occurs in young adults. It usually affects the trunk, arms, and upper thighs; more rarely, it affects the feet, hands, and scalp. The condition is thought to be caused by a viral infection.
The symptoms change over time as the condition progresses. They usually develop in the following order:
An oval patch, 2–6 cm (
About 3–10 days later, a number of smaller oval, pink, flat spots, 1–2 cm (
A scaly margin may appear around the edges of the patches after a week.
The distinctive rash makes the condition easy to diagnose. It usually clears up after about 6–8 weeks without treatment and is unlikely to reappear. If itching is troublesome, your doctor may prescribe a topical corticosteroid to relieve it.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.