Pityriasis rosea, in short from, written as PR. This is a common benign papulosquamous disease that was in the first place described by Camille Melchior Gibert in the year of1860. The term Pityriasis refers to some fine scales and rosea translates as rosy colored or pinkish. PR can have plenty of clinical variations. The diagnosis of this diseas is quite essential since the condition, overall, can resemble secondary syphilis.
The causes of pityriasis rosea are quite uncertain. Some health care providers believe that pityriasis rosea is caused because of some viral or bacterial infections. Some particular medicines also can result into such kinds of rashes. Pityriasis rosea is not contagious, so people suffering from this condition or rashes do not have to be kept away from other people as in other STDs.
Pityriasis rosea is often been considered to be a viral exanthem. In addition to this, the clinical presentation supports this statement. PR has been linked with upper respiratory infection, it can cluster within the same families and also in some intimacy contacts, and it has increased incidences in individuals those are immuno-compromised. As with viral exanthem, the incidences might increase in the seasons of the fall and the spring. A single outbreak would tend to evoke lifelong immunity.
Immunologic data reveal that this is a viral etiology. Increased amounts of CD4 T cells and Langhans giant cells are present in the skin layers; this observation might indicate viral antigen process and presentations. Also, anti-immunoglobulin M (IgM) to keratinocytes is also been found in people suffering from Pityriasis; these findings might be associated with the exanthem phases of the presumed viral infections.
The skin rashes follow a very distinctive pattern. In ¾th of the cases, a single and isolated oval scaly patch (medically known as the heraldpatch) comes out on the body, especially on the trunk, upper arm, neck, or thigh. Often, the herald patch is misidentified for ringworm (medically called as tinea corporis) or eczemas. Within one to two weeks or some times more, there are pink patches on the body and on any arm and leg. These patches frequently form some patterns over the back resembling the abstract of an evergreen tree having casting off the branches. Patches might also appear onto the neck and seldom onto the face. These spots generally are smaller as compared to the herald patch. The rash will begin to heal after 2-4 wk and is generally gone by 6-14 weeks.
A dermatologist usually diagnoses the condition quickly by just performing local examination, but at times the diagnosis becomes harder. The number and size of the spots can vary and from time-to-time, the rashes can be found in an unusual location like on the lower body or somewhere on the face. When there is absence of the herald patch, reaction to medication, infections with fungus or syphilis (a type of VD) or other skin disease might resemble these rashes. The dermatologist might prescribe some blood tests, skin scrapings or even might take some sample from one of the spots for the examination under the microscope to confirm the diagnosis.
The treatment includes some external and internal medicines for itching. Some of the dermatologists and natural holistic healers favor taking oatmeal baths. Some dermatologists favor applying anti-itch medicated creams and/or steroidal lotions that can be prescribed to combat the rashes.
Lukewarm, rather than hot, showers might seem to be useful. Strenuous activities that can aggravate the rashes are to be discouraged. UV rays (Ultraviolet light) treatments given under the strict supervision of dermatologists might be helpful. Recently, both the antiviral drugs Famvir and the antibiotic Erythromycin have shown great results by producing healing effects in just one to two weeks and hence they have been now widely prescribed and adopted in the field of medical science.
For any severe case, a few days of oral anti-inflammatory drugs like prednisone might be necessary for promoting healing. For milder cases, no treatment is needed as this disease is not hazardous skinny condition.