Pityriasis Rosea Symptoms & Causes

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In-Depth

What is pityriasis rosea?

Pityriasis rosea is a common and mild skin condition characterized by scaly, pink and inflamed skin. The condition can last from four to eight weeks and usually leaves no lasting marks.

What causes pityriasis rosea?

The cause of pityriasis rosea is unknown but is commonly believed to be caused by a virus. It is usually seen in children, adolescents and young adults. Most people with the rash are 10 to 35 years old.

The condition is more prevalent in spring and fall.

What are the symptoms of pityriasis rosea?

Pityriasis rosea usually starts with a pink or tan oval area (sometimes called a herald or mother patch) on the chest or back. After a couple of weeks, the main patch is typically followed by smaller pink or tan patches elsewhere on the body – usually the back, neck, arms and legs. The scaly rash typically lasts between four to eight weeks and will disappear without treatment.

Each child may experience symptoms differently, but in general, the signs include:

The symptoms of pityriasis rosea may resemble other skin conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.

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